Udomporn Kan, head of the Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office (DDPM-Phuket) went public today to confirm that the tsunami towers sounded the alarm after a 4.8 Magnitude earthquake off Sumatra at about 3:43am.
However, people in Phuket were never in danger of a tsunami, Mr Udorm said. The Disaster Warning Center did not issue any alert, or warning. Exactly why the towers sounded the alarm officers at this stage did not know. That issue was now being investigated. Technicians were dispatched to inspect the towers today, he added.
Weera Samali, Director of the Weather Department at the Southern Western Meteorological Center, based near Phuket airport pointed out that an underwater earthquake must register at least 7 in Magnitude in order for a tsunami of danger to be created.
“I would like to confirm that the magnitude 4.8 on the Richter scale did not reach the threshold for tsunami, therefore it is unlikely to be the cause of disaster or tsunami,” he said.
“Regarding the Marui fault [a small fault line near Phuket], it is a fault that lies across the ground. Therefore it does not result in a tsunami,” Mr Weera added.
Chaowalit Nitharat, Director of the DDPM Region 18 office, assured that the tsunami warning towers throughout the Andaman region were operational. DDPM branches in each province were prepared with evacuation plans if necessary, he added.
Tsunami warning towers are tested by playing the Thai national anthem at 8am each day, Mr Chaowalit noted.
“Every alarm tower is effective and ready to use, and staff have been assigned to conduct regular inspections and carry out any repairs,” he added.
Mr Chaowalit also assured the tsunami warning buoys in the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean were operational, and would give adequate warning for any evacuations necessary.
“If there is an incident, The buoy in the Indian Ocean will give a warning period of 1 hour and 30 minutes. For the buoy in the Andaman Sea, it will give a warning of about 30 minutes,
“So if there is an earthquake that causes a tsunami, they will be able to give warnings to people to be able to evacuate in a timely manner.
“I can confirm that both buoys are in excellent operating condition, there is a system check every week,” Mr Chaowalit said.
christysweet | 30 April 2023 - 09:36:55