Phuket unaffected by Java earthquake

PHUKET (Gazette, Nation, Kom Chad Luek): Thailand was not affected by the 7.2-Richter magnitude earthquake that sent deadly two-meter tsunami waves crashing into the Indonesian island of Java on Monday, killing at least 300 people.

Although the quake was stronger than the 7.0 Richter threshold used by the Nonthaburi-based National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) for issuing tsunami warnings, the distance from Phuket to the epicenter was deemed too great to merit an alarm, said Arun Kerdsob, Chief of the Phuket Office for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

NDWC Director Smith Thammasaroj confirmed that the seismic event had no impact on Thailand.

Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura said Phuket is prepared to conduct a successful evacuation in the event that the NDWC does issue a warning.

He added that evacuation drills will be conducted twice a year in high-risk areas including Patong, Kata-Karon and Kamala, with the next drills scheduled before November.

Panungsak Pisadu, who operates a parasail operation at Patong Beach, said news of the Java earthquake had not affected his business.

“I heard about it on Monday evening and we were back to work as usual the next day, although we kept a careful watch on the water level,” he said.

“I am confident in the tsunami warning system, because if they raise the alarm we will have [at least] 40 minutes to evacuate. The only thing I worry about is whether or not the siren will be loud enough for us to hear it,” he said.

Phuket News

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