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Tsunami buoy on way to deployment site

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tsunami buoy on way to deployment site | The Thaiger

CAPE PANWA: A ceremony was held yesterday morning to commemorate the launch of the first US-built Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis II (“DART-2”) tsunami-detection system, now aboard the Royal Thai Navy’s MV Seafdec on its way to be deployed at a location in the middle of the Indian Ocean in a few days’ time.

The detection system, built by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at a cost of about 16 million baht, consists of a single buoy to be anchored to the seabed at a depth of about 3,500 meters. Connected to the buoy and sitting on the seabed at the same depth will be water-pressure sensors that can detect tsunami waves and, through the buoy, relay warnings to the World Meteorological Organizations Global Telecommunications System (GTS) satellite for early warning across the region.

The DART-2 buoy is the first in an array of 24 deep-ocean buoys planned by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission, which oversees the development of the Indian Ocean regional tsunami warning system.

The first DART-2 buoy is being deployed through a partnership between the Thai and US governments, following negotiations begun earlier this year between NOAA and the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented at yesterday’s ceremony by Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram. Representing the US was US Ambassador to Thailand Ralph Boyce.

Also in attendance were officials from USAID, which manages the US contribution to the Indian Ocean Early Warning System (IOTWS), and numerous Thai government officials, including Dr Smith Thammasaroj, who heads the Nonthaburi-based National Disaster Warning Center, which was established after the 2004 tsunami.

Dr Smith told reporters that MV Seafdec would reach the deployment site, located midway between Thailand and Sri Lanka and about 1,100 nautical miles from Phuket, some time tomorrow.

After its deployment, the system will be tested and monitored to ensure it is functioning properly before MV Seafdec returns to port. The entire mission is expected to take about seven days. It was important to the Thai people have the system operational before December 5, HM The King’s 79th birthday, he said.

The DART-2 system, which has an expected operational life of two to four years, will be handed over to the Thai government after two years, he said.

The US is funding two more DART-2 buoys to be deployed off the Indonesian Islands of Sumatra and Java in 2007, he added.

Dr Smith described the tsunami-warning system currently in place in Thailand’s six Andaman Coast provinces as “good”, but said he would only be satisfied after the two buoys are deployed off the coasts of Sumatra and Java, sites much closer to Phuket than the remote location chosen for the first buoy.

In the event of a future tsunami, an array of buoys should provide Thailand’s Andaman Coast with a critical 75-minute lead time during which national governments can relay warnings to local officials, who will warn coastal residents and coordinate emergency evacuations, he said.

Direct real-time detection will also eliminate the need for “false alarm” tsunami warnings issued solely by based on seismic data, he added.

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

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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