PHUKET: A tsunami warning buoy off of Phuket’s west coast has been broken since at least March, officials confirmed yesterday.
News of the buoy’s malfunction was reported on the public Facebook page ‘Phuket Quake Watcher (PQW)’, a group that monitors Phuket’s weather forecasts and seismic activity, on June 21.
PQW members wrote that one of the buoys donated by the United States, located about halfway between Thailand and Sri Lanka, had not broadcast a signal for at least 80 days.
“We received word from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) that the buoy has not been working since March 22, but there are still others in India and Australia that are working,” Phuket Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat said. “There are also water level sensors in Phang Nga that can check for tsunamis and are ready to warn locals.”
V/Gov Chokdee said that the MICT was coordinating with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about fixing buoy 23401, located some 1,100km off Phuket’s shores. He also said that the MICT is expected to install additional warning buoys in November.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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