Connect with us


Similans tsunami monitoring station operational



Similans tsunami monitoring station operational | Thaiger

PHUKET: The first of nine tide monitoring stations is now operational on the Similan Islands’ Koh Mieng and the remaining eight should be ready within six months, the head of the Royal Thai Navy announced on April 20.

The project was announced this morning by Navy Commander Adm Surin Roengarom, who chaired a meeting with officials from the six tsunami-affected provinces, held at the South Sea Resort Hotel on Karon Beach.

The island-based facilities will monitor sea water levels around the clock for sudden changes in water levels following seismic events and will issue emergency evacuation orders to coastal areas should the possibility of another tsunami arise.

Adm Surin noted that the December 26 tsunami was presaged by a 40-centimeter drop in the sea level in some locations, whereas the March 28 earthquake produced a drop of just 6cm at Koh Mieng, where the monitoring station has been operational on a trial basis since mid-January.

Given Koh Mieng’s remote location, 35 nautical miles off the main coast, detection of a sudden large drop in sea level should provide sufficient time to evacuate vulnerable coastal areas, he said.

He said other proposed locations for such stations included Tapao Noi and Racha Noi islands in Phuket; Sikow Island in Trang; Tarutao Island in Satun; and the Surin Islands in Phang Nga.

Adm Surin said the tide monitoring stations were low-tech, easy to build and inexpensive, though he did not specify the cost or the exact technology used.

The Navy has already assigned a crew of 11 sailors to Koh Mieng to work in shifts monitoring water levels 24 hours a day, with special attention to be paid following reports of earthquakes of 7.0 or larger on the Richter scale. These reports would come from the Earthquake Monitoring Station in Chiang Mai, he said.

For the system to work, evacuations of low-lying areas along the coast would have to take place within 20 minutes, roighly the amount of time it would take for a tsunami wave to reach a drop in water level was detected, he said.

Somporn Patchimpetch, Head of the Ranong Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, joked that he was more concerned about receiving the warning message in time than whether or not an evacuation could take place rapidly.

“On March 28 in Ranong, it only took 14 minutes to get people away from the coast. As soon as people heard the word ‘tsunami’ they jumped up and ran as fast as they could,” he said, bringing a round of laughter from attendees.

Adm Surin also mentioned that the Navy had a long-term plan to deploy sea-level monitoring buoys in locations further offshore, though he did not provide further details.

Many of those present expressed concerned about the failure of mobile phone networks following the tsunami and again after the March 28 earthquake.

Representatives of mobile phone operators AIS, DTAC and Orange who attended said they would raise this issue with their companies’ managements to see if the networks’ reliability could be improved during emergency situations.


Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand11 mins ago

10 Unique Superstitions of Thai People

Weather47 mins ago

Tropical storm ‘Mulan’ pours down on north and northeast Thailand

Patong2 hours ago

Fire breaks out at Patong bar

Sponsored2 days ago

BKFC THAILAND 3: Moment of truth set for September 3

Politics4 hours ago

Exiled Sri Lanka President warned to stay in his hotel in Bangkok

World4 hours ago

UPDATE: Salman Rushdie on ventilator, details on stabber emerge

Thailand5 hours ago

Campaign to get international training for Thai teen declared record sprinter

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime5 hours ago

Royal birthdays bring over 100,000 royal prison pardons

Video5 hours ago

The Voice Behind the World’s Top Brands ft. Krit Tone Sukawat | Thaiger Podcast Ep.2

Press Room6 hours ago

Thailand as your next destination for Motorcycle Adventure post-COVID

Crime6 hours ago

Singaporean and Thai swindler couple arrested in Malaysia

Crime17 hours ago

Author Salman Rushdie stabbed at New York lecture

Transport22 hours ago

Daily trains begin between Malaysian border and Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Virologist predicts most of Thailand will have had Covid by 2023

Transport23 hours ago

Bangkok gets 20 new electric buses next week

Crime1 day ago

Armed robber escapes with gold worth 800,000 baht in Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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