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Tsunami warning tower daily tests start tomorrow

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Tsunami warning tower daily tests start tomorrow | Thaiger

PHUKET: The National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) has announced that about 9 am each day – starting tomorrow – it will audibly test its 79 tsunami warning towers along the Andaman Coast.

NDWC staff hydrologist Jumleang Chutab told the Gazette that the siren towers have been regularly tested since their construction, but only on a “silent” basis.

Under the new testing the speakers will sound daily about 9 am in order to ensure they are functioning properly.

The speakers will not sound at full volume, nor will they carry any of the siren sounds or voice messages to be played during a real emergency, she said.

Aroon Kerdsom, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Office for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM), told the Gazette that the audio testing will consist of little more than amplifying the sound of a “knock on a microphone”.

The sounds, expected to last just a few minutes, will be audible within a radius of about 50 to 70 meters, he said.

The NDWC plans to arrange a large-scale system test and evacuation drill in about three months, he added.

The tests are being conducted to increase public confidence in the system set up by the NDWC, which has faced criticism by some parties for not conducting regular, audible testing of its siren towers.

The first three siren towers installed in Patong have not been audibly tested since they were modified last year to adapt to the satellite technology used by the Thai-American consortium that won the government bid to install 62 towers in the region.

The NDWC also offers a service to hotels to have their own in-house tsunami warning systems using signals sent by the NDWC. So far only one hotel in the region has invested the 200,000 baht needed to install the technology.

 

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