Tsunami drill in Phuket this month

PHUKET: The National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) has announced that a full-scale tsunami evacuation drill will be conducted simultaneously in the six Andaman coast provinces on September 13.

All 127 tsunami warning towers in the region will be sounded from 9:30am to 10:30am.

The 19 towers in Phuket are located at: Mai Khao, Nai Yang, Bang Tao, Kamala, Patong, Kata, Karon, Kata Noi, Nai Harn, Rawai, Ao Por, Laem Tukkae, Saphan Hin, Chalong Bay, Ao Yon, Koh Lon and Koh Racha.

While all 19 towers in Phuket will sound the alarm, there will be only one government-agency co-ordinated evacuation drill: at Loma Park in Patong.

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In the other Andaman provinces, evacuation drills will be conducted at the tsunami memorial at Ban Nam Kem in Takuapa District, Phang Nga; at Ao Nang in Krabi; at Ban Bang Ben in Kapur District, Ranong; at Samran Beach in Trang; and at Tanyongpo School in La-ngu District in Satun.

The NDWC encourages all Phuket residents and tourists to take part in the drill.

Last year, a similar evacuation drill was held in Patong on August 21. More than 2,000 people took part in the event, led by Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban.

As its list of actions to take to be prepared for a tsunami, the NDWC advises on its website:

• Find out whether your home is located in a tsunami risk zone.

• Know the height of the road at sea level and distance from road to shoreline.

• Be familiar with tsunami warning signs.

• Prepare evacuation plans.

• Choose a safe evacuation site in an elevated area.

• Have an evacuation and disaster kit ready.

• Stay away from beaches or coastal areas while a warning is in effect.

• Have a battery-operated radio for receiving information and news.

If a tsunami warning is sounded, the NDWC further advises:

• In case you hear an official tsunami warning or observe signs of a tsunami, leave the shoreline immediately and move boats to deep water.

• Listen to radio or TV for the latest emergency information.

• Stay away from coastal areas and go to higher ground for safer places.

• Help children, elderly and handicapped people in an evacuation.

• Return home only after authorities announce it is safe to do so.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

Phuket News
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