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The new buoy, being readied for its journey into the Andaman

Thailand Tsunami Marked by 500,000 Monks

Monday, December 14, 2009
THE THAI Government is planning to have 500,000 monks throughout the country commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26.

One thousand monks are to gather in the coastal Phang Nga town of Takuapa, joining the other 499,000 monks throughout the country's 76 provinces in seeking early morning gifts of rice from merit-makers.

At night in Phang Nga, 2552 sky lanterns will be released. Takuapa is the coastal district centre for Phang Nga, not far north of Khao Lak, where the big wave caused heavy damage.

Thousands of Thais and expats from 40 countries died along the Andaman coast of Thailand.

The countdown to the commemoration of the fifth anniversary begins tomorrow with the departure from Phuket of a replacement warning buoy.

Purchased by the Thai government at a cost of 47 million baht, the buoy is the first of three that will eventually provide the Andaman coast with a complete warning system.

Viriya Mongkulveerapan, director of the National Disaster Warning Centre, says the system is capable of warning beachgoers in Phuket and Phang Nga within three minutes.

One news agency has quoted Khun Viriya as saying that this allows for an evacuation time of 25 minutes, however this will probably vary depending on how far the tsunami is detected offshore.

The buoy will be placed in the sea off the Nicobar islands on December 21. The original warning buoy, which suffered a battery failure, will be brought back and used for spare parts.

Two more new buoys are due to be placed in the Andaman early next year, with the cost totalling 200 million baht.

Phuketwan continues to wonder about the efficiency of the warning system if a tsunami comes at 3am or 4am, when most people are asleep and nobody is listening for the warning sirens along the beaches.

Five years on, Phuket's commemoration on December 26 will be subdued, beginning with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Wall of Remembrance in Mai Khao. Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish ceremonies will be held around the island.

Candles will shine in the evening along the sands of Patong beach.

Further north in Phang Nga, where most of Thailand's 5400 victims died, about 40 countries have been invited to send representatives to the December 26 commemoration.
Recalling Thailand's Tsunami

Enduring Riddles Linger Over Tsunami Nameless
The Big Wave With the significant fifth anniversary coming soon and the whole world invited to mark the occasion, unsolved mystery lingers in the aftermath of the Andaman tsunami.
Enduring Riddles Linger Over Tsunami Nameless

The Tsunami: Week One Recalled
What was it like in that first week after the tsunami? Here one Phuket resident relates the story as it was reported in other places. This article has never appeared in print on Phuket.
The Tsunami: Week One Recalled

Bodywork: How Tsunami Victims Reclaimed Names
The work by international police created the greatest forensic detective saga in history. Here is a report from the first 100 days.
Bodywork: How Tsunami Victims Reclaimed Names

Water and Fire: A Tsunami Reunion
The poorest unidentified victims of the tsunami in Thailand are the ones who still have yet to be reunited with relatives. Here from 2007 is a report of one such reunion.
Water and Fire: A Tsunami Reunion

The Tsunami Toll One Year Later
The toll of the Indian Ocean tsunami is still misreported because of discrepancies that Phuketwan reporters discovered 12 months after the event. Here's what they wrote in 2005.
The Tsunami Toll One Year Later

Comments

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I remember it like yesterday, and will also be thinking of all those poor souls on boxing day.

Posted by charlie @ best hotel bangkok on December 15, 2009 15:45


Tuesday October 15, 2019
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