Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations

NEWS ALERTS

Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here

RSS FEEDS

Candles burn on Patong beach, Phuket, to mark the first anniversary

Villagers Flee 'Tsunami': Here's What Happened

Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Phuketwan UPDATE

A TSUNAMI generated by this morning's undersea earthquake would have reached Phuket at 5.22am, Khao Lak at 5.55am and Phi Phi at 6.23am, officials said today.

About 400 people evacuated the village of Nam Khem in Phang Nga early today after a telephone call direct from Bangkok alerted them to a tsunami warning.

The Governor of Phang Nga, Yiamsuriya Palusuk, told Phuketwan that the villagers were reacting to the special concerns held there about a second tsunami.

The village was among the worst-hit spots when the tsunami struck in 2004, killing more than 800 residents, and it now has the region's largest and most touching tsunami memorial.

''Local people there have a highly-organised system and it's the place where the tsunami is best remembered,'' the governor said.

''They evacuated even though it was not necessary at that stage.''

The governor said there were three levels of warnings.

The first level of warning is of the prospect that a wave may be generated by an undersea earthquake.

The second level involves preparation for an evacuation.

The third level is when alarm signals are generated and a fullscale evacuation is on.

Last night's concern about the Indian Ocean earthquake went to level two but not to level three.

The Phuket-based regional Director of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Chotnarin Kertsom, said warnings went out after an alert at 2.55am.

The earthquake epicentre was 876 kilometres off the Andaman coast, he said. Local officials were well prepared to begin an evacuation.

But he said the alert was cancelled when no wave was detected and there was no need to go to level three.

Earlier Report

ALMOST five years have passed since the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 devastated the region.

A tsunami alert overnight that another big wave might be coming proved to be false, but it is timely.

Almost five years on, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has slipped from the collective public memory.

Many people on Phuket and along Thailand's Andaman coast do not wish to remember that day. Others would like to forget it, but cannot.

As with terrorism, eternal vigilance is the only way of dealing with a potential disaster. The threat of a second tsunami is ever-present.

A tsunami on that scale will probably never happen again. But it is worth remembering that Hawaii's first big wave was followed by a second, 14 years later.

Here's a Phuketwan wrap of memorable tsunami-related articles:

MediaWATCH: Tsunami Alert Scare as Drill Nears
Latest A tsunami alert over an Indian Ocean quake is cancelled; what if Phuket's next real wave comes at night?; Action on SMS spam; panda named; China on the move.
MediaWATCH: Tsunami Alert Scare as Drill Nears

Phuket Mystery: Tsunami Body Switch Alleged
Monday meeting Whose body was burned in a cremation ceremony at a temple after the 2004 tsunami? Police allege a husband and wife facing crippling debts faked the wife's death.
Phuket Mystery: Tsunami Body Switch Alleged

Tsunami Forensic Team Goes Unpaid: Is it the End?
Photo Album The noble global initiative to identify as many of the 2004 tsunami victims as possible in Thailand may be collapsing amid lack of funds and debate about how the process should end.
Tsunami Forensic Team Goes Unpaid: Is it the End?

Tsunami Wave Carries Powerful Memories
Photo Album Phang Nga was the epicentre of the big wave that devastated the Andaman coast on December 26, 2004. Four years on, the region reflects on the significance of the tsunami.
Tsunami Wave Carries Powerful Memories

Tsunami ID Cremation Mix-ups Trouble Families
The return of the wrong bodies to families of some tsunami victims is believed to be making the highly praised Thai Tsunami Victim Identification process even more complicated. PHOTO ALBUM
Tsunami ID Cremation Mix-ups Trouble Families

Tsunami Warning Test: How Safe Are We?
Warning drills for a tsunami are easy in sunshine. But the unpredictable arrival of a big wave in the middle of the night, when telephones and television are switched off, leaves us asking: How safe are we?
Tsunami Warning Test: How Safe Are We?

Governor Criticises Tsunami Warning Test
The annual tsunami practice drill along the Andaman coast on July 7 sparked criticism in two provinces. The disaster took place in 2004. How much longer before there is a warning system that works?
Governor Criticises Tsunami Warning Test

Tsunami Boats Now Attract Tourists
The village of Nam Khem, which means salt water, was a sad place during the tsunami but its fortunes have changed now. Tourists are welcome. Go to see the twin trawlers.
Tsunami Boats Now Attract Tourists

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

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

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

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

Comments have been disabled for this article.

gravatar

Luckily the 7.6 quake http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2009kdb2.php which struck in the Indian Ocean off India's Andaman Islands early on Tuesday (02:55) did not generate a tsunami.

Tsunami alert was given to India, Burma, Indonesia and Thailand but all sirens in Phuket were silent.

What would have happened if we had a tsunami like in December 2004 striked Phuket and Khao Lak when all of us where sleeping?

The National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) that is now responsible for maintaining the buoy and Khun Chotenarin Kerdsom, who heads the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phuket Office (DDPM-Phuket) should be fired.

The Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) buoy was provided by USAID for free to Thailand and that vital equipment was left to rot.

Shame on them.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 11, 2009 09:41


Wednesday July 17, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

FOLLOW PHUKETWAN

Facebook Twitter