Second disaster warning system for Patong

PHUKET: Patong has been chosen as the pilot site for the government’s high-tech Early Warning System for disasters and will have three siren poles operational by the end of April, an official from the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology said today.

The announcement was made at the Phuket Governor’s Office this morning by Manus Somsang, deputy chairman of the sub-committe appointed by Prime Minister to establish an emergency broadcast network to warn of tsunamis and other impending disasters.

The project is unrelated to a donated 560,000-baht warning system, which failed to impress in testing conducted earlier this month.

In the new system, each siren pole will receive data via satellite from the National Warning Center to be set up in Nonthaburi. The sirens will be capable of issuing five different types of alert, including both sirens and computer-generated voice messages in various languages. Each pole will consist of eight loudspeakers producing a volume of sound that will be audible as far away as 1.5 kilometers, the manufacturers say.

The three 15-meter poles, to be spaced out to allow coverage to extend the entire length of Patong Beach, will be erected atop the Tourist Police Station in central Patong, at the Sunset Beach Resort to the north in Kalim, and at the Seaview Hotel near Klong Pakbang to the south.

They will be powered by 12-volt solar cells and use digital sound technology designed by German-based firm Kockum Sonics, which is donating the equipment for the pilot project.

K. Manus explained that, in addition to loudspeakers, each pole would have a control cabinet to receive signals from the National Warning Center, which will collect and analyze data from numerous agencies, both in Thailand and abroad.

These will include the Meteorological Department; Department of Mineral Resouces; National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department; and Pollution Control Department.

Alerts from the center will also be transmitted via Thailand’s 211 AM radio stations, 312 FM stations, 10 Thai TV channels and via SMS messages to mobile phone owners, he said.

The Early Warning System, which will eventually cover the entire nation, will initially focus of the six provinces affected by the tsunami, he added.

Phuket News
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