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Patong tsunami-evacuation drill called off to avoid panic among tourists

PHUKET: The tsunami-evacuation drill announced last month to be held at Patong Beach this Thursday (Mar 7) has been called off in order to not cause a panic among tourists.

tourismdisastersSafetypatong
By Waranya Prompinpiras

Tuesday 5 March 2019, 06:28PM


The tsunami-evacuation drill planned for this Thursday (Mar 7) has been called off. Photo: The Phuket News / file

The tsunami-evacuation drill planned for this Thursday (Mar 7) has been called off. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Instead, an evacuation drill – complete with the tsunami-warning towers sounding the alarm – will be held at the end of April, Prapan Kanprasang, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phuket), told The Phuket News today (Mar 5).

“Patong Municipality and DDPM-Phuket initially planned to hold a tsunami-evacuation training session for officials at the Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa over two days, on March 6-7,” Mr Prapan said.

“However, the training will be on March 6 only,” he added.

“The evacuation exercise that was to be held from 10am to midday on March 7 has been canceled because it will make tourists panic,” Mr Prapan said.

The training session to be held tomorrow will be held entirely indoors, he explained.

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“I am serious about to making officers undergo full training on March 6.” he said. “The officers will carry out simulation exercises in the afternoon so that they will be prepared and know what to do if a tsunami happens.”

Mr Prapan stressed that a full tsunami-evacuation drill will be carried out at the end of next month.

“After this, there will be a real evacuation exercise held on Patong Beach at the end of April. The exact date and time for the regional exercise has yet to be confirmed. We will announce it soon,” Mr Prapan said.

A tsunami-evacuation simulation being held at the end of April will coincide with a regional exercise organised by the National Disaster Warning Centre (NDWC), as announced last month.

“The exact date and time for the regional exercise is yet to be confirmed. We will announce it soon.” Mr Prapan said in making that announcement. (See story here.)

 

 

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Kurt | 06 March 2019 - 14:57:48

Before December 2004, who knew about what disaster a Tsunami is? It was behind imagination that FIRST time, since many generations. And to put facts straight: Some years ago there was a tsunami alarm and during that LAST time the hills behind Patong, etc., were one whole night full with thai people. So, yes, thai know were to run.

Rorri_2 | 06 March 2019 - 10:21:22

""Thai know where to run..." Yeah right" that was before the tsunami, one would hope they have "learnt" then again, maybe not... personally I would just head for the 2nd, 3rd, or higher floor of a hotel... even Jung Ceylon was safe. Oh, as for getting facts straight, they didn't ALL run down to the water.

GregoryJCS | 06 March 2019 - 09:10:02

"Thai know where to run..." Yeah right. That's why last time they all ran down to the water to collect fish flopping around while the waves beared down on them. Get you facts straight ....before commenting.

Rorri_2 | 06 March 2019 - 05:33:24

"The tsunami-evacuation drill announced last month to be held at Patong Beach this Thursday (Mar 7) has been called off in order to not cause a panic among tourists," so tourist don't count, my guess it the warning system doesn't work, has anyone heard it being tested, I believe on Wednesdays.

Kurt | 05 March 2019 - 18:55:16

What makes that all this called Phuket tsunami drills I not trust? Is just a administrative thing, I guess with a lot thai tiger paper work, satisfy at end of day. Inform tourists on forehand with a flyer when arriving at airport. Is that so difficult? Nice to do, Paper-paper! The excuse to cancel is a cheap charlie thing. Doesn't make sense. Drill is  mend for tourists! Thai know where to run...

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