Officials celebrate successful earthquake drill

PHUKET: Officials celebrated a successful multi-day, full-scale earthquake drill this week, which was aimed at decreasing the loss of life should a powerful, damaging quake strike the island.

“Many countries around the world face a number of natural disasters that have deep, troubling impacts on the nation. It can take a long time for a country to heal,” said Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak. “This is why it is important for us to be ready. I was pleased to see how each department and the participating residents handled the situation.”

Joining the event was guest speaker Dr Smith Dharmasaroja, director of the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC), whose warnings of a possible tsunami disaster along Thailand’s Andaman coast went unheeded years before the 2004 calamity struck.

“Though, we cannot predict earthquakes, we can be prepared,” Dr Smith said. “I hope that children and teenagers practice these drills as much as possible so that they are familiar with these situations and know how to handle them wisely.”

The full-scale drill took place in Srisoonthorn, which sustain the greatest amount of damage from the imaginary 5.7 magnitude quake.

During the drill, most of the buildings were considered destroyed, leaving people injured and homeless. Srisoonthorn Municipality was forced to call the Phuket Provincial Hall to report the emergency.

A shelter was set up at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Phuket office.

Additional reporting by Kritsada Mueanhawong

— Nichana Madsatool

Phuket News

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