Connect with us


Pacific navies in Phuket discuss disaster relief, nuclear meltdown



PHUKET: The third and final symposium of major human aid agencies and 16 navies covering half the world drew to a close in Phuket yesterday, with representatives focusing on naval involvement in providing relief to disaster-struck areas, including nuclear meltdowns.

The symposium, titled the third Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), was held under tight security at the JW Marriott Resort in Mai Khao.

The workshop was themed “Seapower – A Unifying Force for Good”, with the aim of improving participating nations’ understanding of what was required in providing disaster relief and to better coordinate in delivering relief to disaster areas.

Among the focus areas of the discussions was the provision of emergency disaster relief in the Asia-Pacific. Disasters discussed included earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, volcano eruptions, flooding, drought, famine, and the newest element – not previously discussed at the forums – was the threat of nuclear meltdown, referring to the recent crisis in Fukushima, Japan.

“We’re now looking at how to better disseminate the information required to alleviate the grave concerns and questions coming up so there is a better understanding of how to deal with those types of disasters,” the WPNS Executive Director for Plans and Policy, Commander William J. Wesley, said.

Naval representatives from 16 (of 22) WPNS nations took part, including the US Pacific Fleet and Pacific Command, four observing countries, at least seven NGOs, ASEAN designates, and other government officials.

The US Navy and Royal Thai Navy co-hosted the event.

In total, 24 countries were represented: Thailand, the USA, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Tonga, Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, China, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Russia and Vietnam; with the four observing nations being India, Peru, Mexico and Bangladesh.

Also at the meeting were representatives from the United Nations’ UNHCR, UNICEF and World Health Organization.

Other aid organizations represented included regional national disaster management Offices (NDMOs), USAID, AUSAID, NZAID, Interaction, Project Handclasp, IFRC, IRC and RC.

The meeting was held among the tight posting of dozens of armed Military Police and came on the week before the reportedly unrelated coincidence of more than 5,000 US Navy servicemen arriving in Phuket for R&R this week.

However, Cdr Wesley clarified, “We didn’t have a force structure here. What we had were representatives of like-minded navies within the WPNS.”

By bringing together WPNS Navies with government and non-government entities, Cdr Wesley explained that such an underlying structure…gives us the ability to work together synergistically…on how to achieve the results of ameliorating human suffering.”

The symposium was the third HADR WPNS workshop held. The first, planned after the 2004 tsunami, was held in Bali in 2007, and the second in Singapore in 2009.

Asked why Phuket was chosen for the third and final workshop, Cdr Wesley replied, “Phuket was chosen by the Royal Thai Navy because of its past experience with the tsunami and because their view was that there are a lot of interests [hoping that] that we [could] achieve some good results.

“They also wanted to make sure that it was held in an area that could be well protected and secure from any type of untoward act,” he added.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World11 hours ago

Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week

Thailand12 hours ago

Tangmo defendant repays vow with 5-metre Ultraman figure

Bangkok12 hours ago

Bangkok asks companies to let employees work from home until October 7

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Prime minister’s achievements since coming back to the office

Best of12 hours ago

Revealed: the best rooftop bars in the world

Thailand12 hours ago

Father & 2 year old son shot in Chiang Mai

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pattaya13 hours ago

Officials predict over 100,000 people at Pattaya International Fireworks Festival

Thailand13 hours ago

Six-legged golden frog brings good fortune in northern Thailand

Tourism13 hours ago

British Embassy Bangkok to hold a conference on tourism safety and security

Thailand13 hours ago

Mother seeks justice after a monk slapped her son

Expats13 hours ago

Bangkok ranked one of top 5 expat cities

Thailand14 hours ago

Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries

Thailand14 hours ago

VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand

Chiang Mai14 hours ago

Chiang Mai wakes up to a flooded city district

World14 hours ago

Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11