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Tsunami buoy on way to deployment site

Legacy Phuket Gazette



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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Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong

The Thaiger



Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police

Patong Police are investigating alleged foreign motorbike racing gangs in Patong after a viral video clip in local social media.

The Patong Police report that the clip of tourists who have been driving their motorbikes at high speed around the streets of Patong has been very popular and provided them with a lot of information about the locations, the bikes and the riders.

Police are now investigating the incident to find the people on the bikes so they can charge them and take legal action.

Every month they say there are about 2,000 cases as Patong Police enforce the road rules around the tourist town. Patong Traffic Police say they are strictly enforcing traffic rules to prevent road accidents and protect tourists.

Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger

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“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling?

The Thaiger



“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling? | The Thaiger

by Krix Luther

The word is out about self-myofascial release – foam rolling – and, no, Thailand people, this doesn’t have to do with a ‘soapy’ or ‘happy-endings’.

So what is foam rolling you ask? Well, it was once a secretive technique used by professional coaches and therapists but has become a regular practice for people across the spectrum of all fitness levels.

Self-myofascial release is just a fancy term for a technique of self-massage that helps deal with muscle tightness and trigger points.

With a massage parlour never being farther than a kilometre away, and decent one-hour massage costing you less than 500 baht, it might be difficult to see the point of learning the technique – which would explain why I always see a bunch of rarely used foam rollers in the corner of Nai Harn Gym in Phuket (one of the places I work).

Nonetheless, the understanding of your body and muscle structures that comes with practising the technique can offer many benefits.

  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Prevents chances of DOMS
  • Reduces post-workout stress
  • Helps with post-workout cooldown
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Prevents training-related injuries
  • Reduces chances of overtraining

The practice can be done with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane or your own hands by simply applying pressure to specific points on your body, aiding in the recovery of muscles and assisting in returning them to normal function. We can think of ‘normal function’ as when your muscles are elastic, healthy and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

Foam rolling after a workout will provide deep compression that will help relax tight muscles and adhesions (fibrous bands) between muscle layers and their surroundings. The benefits of foam rolling are outstanding, in addition to increasing blood flow, which will speed up muscle recovery. Foam rolling can be used for a variety of corrective bodywork.

It can loosen muscles to re-balance posture, re-establish proper movement patterns, enhance performance and help create pain-free movement.

Stretching alone is not always enough when it comes to releasing the tightness, which makes the technique very helpful. Additionally, you are able to feel exactly what is happening and adjust the pressure so that it is uncomfortable, but not unbearable – not always the case when it comes to the toes of your Thai masseuse digging into your back.

Krix Luther has been a Personal Trainer in Phuket for more than 10 years, he specialises in weight loss, strength & conditioning, TRX and CrossFit. For more information about Krix and his services, visit

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Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash

The Thaiger



Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | The Thaiger

A 74 year old motorbike driver has died after colliding with a high speed taxi in Thalang this morning.

The Thalang Police headed to the accident near an intersection of Thepkrasattri – Nai Yang Road in Thalang at 7.40am.

When they arrived they found a damaged taxi. Nearby they located the damaged motorbike.

74 year old Somchai Uttasaha, the motorbike driver, was taken to the Thalang Hospital but was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Police report that the taxi was traveling at high speed. The driver was 48 year old Prasert Malitong.

When the taxi arrived at the location of the incident, the motorbike was allegedly traveling outside his proper traffic lane.  The taxi collided with the motorbike at speed.

The taxi driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death.

Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The ThaigerElderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The Thaiger

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