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US Govt shutdown prevents tsunami-warning buoy going live

PHUKET: The US government shutdown due Congressional appropriations has left the tsunami-warning buoy deployed off Phuket today useless as the buoy remains to be manually activated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 18 January 2019, 12:41PM


UPDATE: Dr Prasong later confirmed that the tsunami-warning buoy was brought online at 1:50am Saturday (Jan 19), Phuket time.


Dr Prasong Thammapala, Scientist Senior Professional Level at the National Disaster Warning Centre (NDWC) in Bangkok, explained the situation to The Phuket News this morning (Jan 18).

“The tsunami-warning buoy was deployed at about 9am, but the buoy is not activated yet. It must be connected to the monitoring and warning system operated by the NOAA,” he explained.

“I contacted the NOAA in Washington, DC this morning and they said the buoy was not yet activated because of the government shutdown,” Dr Prasong said.

“As it is a new buoy brought online, it must be manually activated,” he added.

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“The NOAA apologised for the inconvenience. They said they have limited staff working there right now who are already overloaded with work.”

At this stage Dr Prasong is hoping for the buoy to be activated by tonight, Phuket time.

“Hopefully they will treat this as an urgent priority and have the buoy activated by tomorrow morning, Washington, DC time,” Dr Prasong said.

“They gave their word to me that they would work as fast as possible to get the buoy online,” he said.

 

 

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Galong | 20 January 2019 - 09:32:02

The sane world really needs to focus on weaning itself from the US. The empire is crumbling and there is no reason to assume that it will get better.  Be self-sufficient, please.

Kurt | 19 January 2019 - 12:20:50

Answer on question who is responsible since October 2017 is simple. That is the Thai Government. But one will never be able to pin-point to just 1 Official. Many departments involved. And be sure there is not 1 single thai government document talking about 'responsibility' concerning keeping buoys operational.., other wise It would have not taken since October 2017 to replace.

Kurt | 19 January 2019 - 11:36:16

Well, the tsunami buoy is on line now. Very quick done by NOAA. In less than 17 hours after positioning.  Quite different from thai non operational attention from Oct 2017 till now!
Did NOAA informed the Thai in Oct 2017 that the buoy was not working? And this info was not shared with the people of thai coastal areas?  

BigA | 18 January 2019 - 17:23:42

I wounder who would be responsible right now if something would happen?

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