Connect with us


Phuket stages full-scale tsunami drill

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Scores of emergency rescue workers from all over Phuket took part in two hours of search-and-rescue drills at Saphan Hin this morning.

The drill was intended to improve the ability of staff to react in an effective and organized fashion in the event of a disaster by giving them practical experience using rescue equipment and coordinating efforts among the various agencies involved.

Participation was limited to emergency medical and rescue personnel, along with a small number of volunteers.

Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha presided over the 9am opening ceremony for the event, which saw training for numerous organizations including:

– Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Phuket office;

– Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO);

– Phuket DMAT (Disaster Medical Assist Team), which has units from all six hospitals in Phuket;

– Royal Thai Navy, Third Area Command;

– Kusoldharm Foundation, Phuket Kupai Ruamjai Foundation, among others.

The drill followed a two-day training camp in “command post exercises” at the DDPM Academy in Phuket Town on Wednesday and Thursday.

The drills began with the remote sounding of the nearby National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) warning tower.

Once the signal began, workers rushed to set up an operations center and field hospital using inflatable tent structures provided by the Red Cross.

Meanwhile, a team of Navy Seals used a helicopter to pluck a mock victim from the sea and to take him for emergency medical treatment.

PPHO Deputy Director Wiwat Seetamanotch said, “Our field hospital can be set up in just 15 minutes. With 10 beds it can handle about 200 patients a day. Victims requiring surgery or overnight treatment will be sent to hospital.”

The training continued this afternoon at Phuket International Airport, where a staging area and field hospital were set up to coordinate evacuation to medical facilities aboard a specially-equipped C-130 transport plane operated by the Royal Thai Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine.

“The drill is based on the scenario that all six Phuket hospitals are too crowded to provide treatment for all who require it, creating a need to evacuate victims to facilities in partner provinces,” Dr Wiwat said.

“This time we asked for cooperation from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, which was undamaged from the [hypothetical] tsunami. In an emergency, patients will be airlifted by C-130 to field hospitals at airports in those provinces, then rushed to hospital for treatment,” he added.

The Nakhon Sri Thammarat unit is one of seven partners the Phuket unit can call upon in the event of an emergency. The others are provincial units in Chiang Rai, Udon Thani, Phetchaburi and Ayudhaya, as well as the Emergency Medical Institute and the Navy Medical Department, both in Bangkok, Dr Wiwat explained.

In addition to the drill, Gov Tri signed an MoU with five local companies willing to provide emergency relief supplies at short notice. The firms are: Coca-Cola distributor Haad Thip PCL, as well as retailers Supercheap, Big C, Tesco-Lotus and Makro.

Under the terms of the MoU, these firms will provide emergency food and drink supplies within an hour of request. It is the first MoU of its kind signed anywhere in Thailand, he added.

Also at the event today was a high-tech emergency communications van belonging to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT).

The MICT is currently developing communications and database technology to ensure an uninterrupted flow of information in Phuket in the aftermath of any disaster, Dr Wiwat said.

“The database system will allow us to search for appropriate agencies to handle any kind of disaster, such as chemical leaks or poisonous gas explosions. It should be completely ready by next year,” he said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand59 mins ago

Thailand’s national parks ban the use of sunscreen

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 20,200 new cases, provincial totals

Guides1 hour ago

Visa Exemption Rule – 56 countries to enter Thailand without a visa

Sponsored4 hours ago

Tour Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Third phase testing successful for Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket police arrest 2 men and seize more than 160,000 methamphetamine pills

Thailand4 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Hemp Ice cream, Thai English proficiency, Covid stats

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of5 hours ago

5 Best Seafood Restaurants in Koh Samui

Coronavirus Vaccines5 hours ago

Health Ministry to distribute 10 million vaccine doses across Thailand this month

Protests6 hours ago

31 anti-government activists granted conditional release

Best of6 hours ago

Top 5 suit tailors in Bangkok

Protests6 hours ago

Ban on mass gatherings published in Royal Gazette ahead of anti-government protests this weekend

Thailand6 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Record high of 20,200 new cases and 188 deaths

Coronavirus Vaccines6 hours ago

Health Ministry calls for a halt to criticism of doctors not involved in vaccine decisions

Phuket7 hours ago

Phuket lays on Suvarnabhumi bus service for stranded sandbox tourists

Best of19 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 most family-friendly resorts

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8