Connect with us

Phuket

Patong breathes easy after tsunami scare

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

Patong breathes easy after tsunami scare | Thaiger

PATONG: Following the high state of tsunami alert last night, after a major quake off the coast of Sumatra – followed by several powerful aftershocks – it’s business as usual for the Phuket tourism industry, despite the excitement.

Indonesian government authorities issued a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale jolted parts of Indonesia’s Java and Sumatra islands at 6:10 pm.

The United States Geological Survey center (USGS) reported that the quake occurred 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Bengkulu, Sumatra, which is 695km (435 miles) south-southwest of Singapore. The epicenter was recorded at a depth of about 30km.

The USGS also reported a magnitude 7.1 quake in the Kepulauan Mentawari region of Indonesia at 10:35 this morning. That quake, at a depth of 10km, was recorded by the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) in Nonthaburi, which has yet to issue any alerts but remains in a state of high readiness.

After a national television broadcast broke the news to the Thai public about 7:30 pm last night, seaside bars and shops in Patong quickly closed as throngs of people headed calmly for higher ground. Traffic jams were reported along Phra Barami Rd, the road which traverses Patong Hill.

Closer to the beach, Kathu Traffic Police switched traffic flow along the road from two-way to one-way, heading away from the beach. Access to the beach road was temporarily restricted last night to facilitate the people trying to leave the area – despite the lack of any official warning advising them to do so.

On Sainamyen Rd in Patong, people walking to safety zones congregated outside 7-Elevens and Family Mart stores, which were doing a brisk trade in alcohol sales as cars and motorbikes slowly moved away from the beach.

Conversations focused on the devastation caused by the tsunami that struck the Andaman coastline on December 26, 2004. Of the people the Gazette spoke to, many of the regular visitors to Phuket were not overly worried.

Last night’s earthquake was initially reported as 8.2 in magnitude, compared with the 9.0 earthquake in 2004. Another large quake off Sumatra registering 8.7 on the Richter scale on the night of March 28, 2005 also failed to produce a tsunami.

Following news of the initial quake, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont ordered the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) to monitor the situation closely. From Phuket Provincial Hall, Phuket Vice-Governor Worapoj Ratthasima urged all officials and residents to stay tuned and brace for a tsunami as a precaution, as did governors of other Andaman coast provinces.

NDWC Director Dr Smith Dharmasaroja said that he believed the earthquakes posed no danger to the six Andaman provinces, so there was no need to activate the warning-tower sirens or warning messages.

However, the fact that the warning towers had not sounded any sort of warning was cause for concern for some.

As the hours passed, people started returning to the main nightlife areas of the resort town. Many businesses remained closed for the night, however, and the beachfront road was still quiet at 10:30 pm.

Aroon Kerdsom, who heads the provincial branch of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phuket), said his staff were last night ordered to report to the island’s 19 tsunami warning towers with emergency vehicles and equipment, though he stressed that the move was strictly precautionary.

The DDPM-Phuket did not evacuate people from small outlying islands as had happened in parts of Krabi and Phang Nga and his staff were told to inform the public not to panic, he said.

However, many people in low-lying coastal areas did just that, finding televised reports of the quake enough to warrant evacuation.

About 9 pm, some 80 people evacuated the Laem Tukkae area for the safety of Phuket Provincial Hall, while some coastal residents of Rawai moved up off the beach to higher ground. Both locales are home to Sea Gypsy communities.

Many residents of Kamala, which was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, did not wait for a warning before fleeing in panic to the safety of the nearby Nakkerd Hills.

K. Aroon asked the public to put faith in the information released by the DDPM and not to panic or evacuate areas unless advised to do so.

Regional testing of the NDWC’s tsunami early warning system on July 25 had revealed problems at three of the island’s 19 warning towers: Ao Makham, Kata Noi and Nai Harn. NDWC staff had since effected repairs on all three towers, which in some cases was as simple as cutting down trees impeding sound waves from traveling unobstructed, he said.

Following this morning’s quake V/Gov Worapoj said tourists need not worry about a tsunami as the government has a fully functional warning system in place and is prepared to issue a timely evacuation warning should it be necessary.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

    image

    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.

    Click to comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment Login

    Leave a Reply

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

    image

    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Crime19 mins ago

    Former air force officer murders ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in Bangkok

    Thailand54 mins ago

    Goodbye masks & Monkeypox reality check | GMT

    Economy55 mins ago

    Large banana plantation near Bangkok goes viral, Thai netizens say owner wants to avoid land tax

    Sponsored4 hours ago

    Why you should study Thai to explore Thailand

    image
    Thailand1 hour ago

    Ranong reports 41 cases of monkey-to-human “Nousai” malaria

    Phuket2 hours ago

    Phuket police search for kidnapper and young girl he abducted months ago

    Crime2 hours ago

    Thai nurse arrested for conning the public out of millions of baht in flu vaccine scam

    image
    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Election2 hours ago

    Bangkok governor-elect calls for calm and unity to get through the political storm

    Politics2 hours ago

    Government says PM listening to concerns over draft law on public gatherings, NGO funding

    Thailand2 hours ago

    Tesla registers as a company in Thailand

    Chon Buri2 hours ago

    Alleged drug dealer from Estonia arrested in Chon Buri after hiding for 4 years

    Central Thailand3 hours ago

    Policeman suspended after kicking, stomping on 2 handcuffed teenagers

    Crime3 hours ago

    Teenage gunman goes on rampage killing 19 children and 2 adults at a Texas primary school

    World3 hours ago

    19 children, 2 teachers killed as gunman opens fire at primary school in Texas

    Phuket3 hours ago

    Phuket officials announce plans for 2 big tourism events next month

    Thailand4 hours ago

    Health ministry asks international airports to screen for monkeypox symptoms

    Thailand8 months ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Tourism1 year ago

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

    Phuket1 year ago

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

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Tourism1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Trending