Public asked not to rely on social media for tsunami warnings

PHUKET: Officials are warning the public not to rely too heavily on social media when it comes to earthquake and tsunami warnings.

There are currently 40 seismometers throughout the Kingdom, which alert the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) in Bangkok of any seismic activity in the area, confirmed Deputy Director-General of the Meteorological Department Burin Wechbunthung.

“The NDWC evaluates data from sensors to decide whether a warning signal should be aired or not,” Mr Burin said. “Should there be a sizable earthquake, the NDWC will halt all TV broadcasting and inform the public of the situation. Additionally, the NDWC has offices in all six Andaman provinces. Should there be a tsunami warning, they will alert the local authorities to sound the alarms. You do not have to rely on social media.”

Mr Burin spoke on the subject in Phuket yesterday during a seminar on how to handle tsunami and earthquake warnings in the Andaman provinces.

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The seminar was scheduled far in advance of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake off of the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday (story here).

“We now have a standard earthquake check system like Japan and Indonesia, and are always developing and updating it to make it more efficient,” Mr Burin said. “Additionally, the Thai National Anthem is played through the tsunami warning tower at 8am daily to ensure that it is in working order.”

Those who wish to keep informed on local seismic activity, or have general questions, can contact the NDWC hotline at 192 or the Meteorological Department at 076-225 974.

— Sukawin Tanthavanich

Phuket News

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