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Phuket rescue services to hold earthquake drill

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PHUKET: Emergency rescue personnel from across Phuket will join local officials in Thalang district to conduct an earthquake rescue drill tomorrow, starting at 2pm.

The drill will be based on damages from a hypothetical 5.0 magnitude earthquake centered in the area of Srisoonthorn subdistrict, which sustained the greatest damage on April 16, when a 4.3 Richter quake shook Phuket.

“Thalang is in an earthquake-risk zone, so there is a possibility that an earthquake could happen there again in the [near] future,” explained Dr Sak Tanchaikul, chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO).

The exercise will involve a coordinated effort by the PPHO, Thalang Police, Kusoldharm Rescue Foundation first-responders and Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) and Cherng Talay Municipality, he added.

The drill is aimed at reassuring Srisoonthorn villagers of local rescue services’ capabilities and to train workers in what actions to take, should another earthquake strike, he said.

“We want to train health officials and officers from other related organizations in providing medical assistance to injured people, including the handicapped, children and the elderly. We will also hold a seminar and an exhibition to educate people and local public health volunteers, so that they will be able to take the initial steps to deal with the situation on their own,” he added.

The drill tomorrow follows Central Festival Phuket staging an evacuation drill last Thursday. That exercise was carried out with assistance from the Phuket office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

“Every day there are many tourists, local residents and people from other provinces nearby who come to shop at the mall, so it is important to reassure them of the mall’s safety and emergency rescue systems,” said Central Festival General Manager Wilaiporn Pitimanaaree.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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