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Tsunami alarm “a success’

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Tsunami alarm “a success’ | The Thaiger

PHUKET: A tsunami warning has been declared a “90% success” after the alert went out late last night from the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC).

The alert, urging evacuation of the Andaman coast, came after an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck the Nicobar Islands, only 664 kilometers from Phuket.

At 11 pm, Plodprasop Suraswadi, Director of the NDWC in Nonthaburi, near Bangkok, advised that people living in coastal areas should move to higher ground. The earthquake, with its epicenter located about 10 kilometers below the seabed, occurred at 10:42 pm.

K. Plodprasop announced that giant waves were predicted to hit Karon Beach at 12:12 am and Patong Beach a minute later, followed by Bang Tao Beach, Tah Chat Chai, Thai Muang, Khao Lak, and Koh Lanta.

Boonchai Somchai, Chief of Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office (ODPM) said that Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura ordered local authorities to warn the public of the predicted tsunamis.

“Karon and Patong authorities received orders from the Governor to announce an evacuation of residents at 11 pm, via loudspeaker announcements and by setting off the NDWC sirens in Patong at midnight.”

He said that residents of coastal areas moved to safety of their own accord, with some assistance from police.

“The evacuation went according to plan and was about 90% successful. The only problem we encountered was in sending mobile phone alerts upon the first warning. However, the Radio Communication Association was on standby and was able to provide radio and telephone links,” K. Boonchai said.

“Nobody was hurt during the evacuation, nor when the tsunami warning was canceled at 1:30 am and residents returned to their homes.”

At 2:12 am, K. Plodprasop announced once again that the warning had been rescinded, after steps had been taken to ensure that there was no further risk. The public was later informed that although there had been potential for a tsunami, only five small waves were generated.

American David Beaty, on vacation in Phuket, said, “Everywhere was crazy with everyone running at about midnight. Then, around 1 am, people started going back to the shops.

“Staff at the hotel where I am staying in Patong did not inform me about what was going on. I was asleep until some friends came and told me about the warning.”

He explained that he moved from the third to the fifth floor. “I went to a higher floor; I didn’t want to leave [the hotel] because traffic was bad. I was not too worried and didn’t get hurt. Thailand is a beautiful country and I will come back here again.” he added.

Pamuke Archariyachai, Managing Director of three Kata Group hotels in Phuket, told the Gazette that the NDWC had done a good job of warning the public and that his hotel staff were trained not to frighten guests, but to ensure their safety in such a situation.

“Our hotel staff are trained not to panic on hearing news of an impending disaster, so they simply called guests to wake them and move them to the upper floors. None of our guests needed to head for the hills because our buildings have floors well above sea level.

“Our staff tried to inform and protect every guest, but some of them ignored our warnings and declined to move to the higher floors,” he added.

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger


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Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | The Thaiger

A male Danish tourist, driving a motorbike, has died after colliding with a truck in front of a market in Kathu.

The Kathu Police were notified of the incident on Phra Phuket Keaw Road in front of the new outdoor Vintage Market in Kathu at 3am yesterday morning.

Police and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the U-turn to find the truck and driver waiting. The driver of the truck was 36 year old Sontaya Suchata waiting in the middle of the U-turn area.

Nearby they found a damaged Honda PCX and 51 year old Claus Pathuel Jensen, a Danish national from Glostrup. He was found unconscious under the truck. He was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Police report that the truck was going to take a U-turn outside the market area. The truck driver says he was unaware that Mr Jensen was coming from behind in the right lane. The motorbike was unable to avoid the collision with the truck and Mr Jensen PCX ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger


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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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