The issue of both tsunami-warning buoys missing was raised through a Facebook post shared by the Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, late on Tuesday (May 24).
The Phuket Info Center pulled no punches in publicly asking any of the relevant government agencies to provide an explanation.
The national DDPM responded late yesterday (May 25), confirming that the National Data Buoy Center website operated by the NOAA was not showing any data from either of the two tsunami-warning buoys.
The DDPM reported that the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) had responded to the query.
During the two-year routine maintenance, it was discovered on Oct 22 last year that the first buoy, Station 23401, installed in the Indian Ocean a distance of 965km west of Phuket, had slipped its mounting and stopped transmitting data.
The buoy had been safely recovered and a replacement is scheduled to be installed in November this year.
The second buoy, Station 23461, installed in the Andaman Sea approximately 340km from Phuket, was confirmed last Saturday (May 21) to still be at its designated location and transmitting data, but issues in communicating with NOAA servers had prevented the data from being shown on the National Data Buoy Center website.
“The National Disaster Warning Center conducted a preliminary review of the data and found that the Andaman Sea tsunami buoy Station 23461 was still active and transmitting data. The water level change was normal. Currently, it is in the process of coordinating the results of the NOAA inspection and requesting that the buoy data be displayed on the National Data Buoy Center website as before,” the DDPM reported.
The DDPm repeated that the tsunami-warning buoys are only two of an array set up in the Indian Ocean to detect, and warn, of any impending tsunamis.