“Wave watcher’ may predict tsunamis

PHUKET: An automatic weather station to be installed on Koh Racha Noi will also measure wave and tidal movements, which may be able to help warn against impending tsunamis.

The proposal has been approved by the Royal Thai Navy and the Town & Country Planning Department, though the budget required has yet to be determined, said Chumnong Chitpukdee, Director of Southern (West Coast) center of the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD).

The data will help TMD officers better understand the frequency of waves, which may help with developing an alternative energy source, said K. Chumonong.

More importantly, he added, the equipment, through monitoring wave frequencies, may be able to determine whether an earthquake has happened in the region and possibly help to warn against impending tsunamis.

The project has been approved by the provincial committee for coastal conservation, led by Phuket Vice-Governor Worapoj Rathasima, and other relevant committees. Rawai Municipality, the local authority responsible for Koh Racha Noi, has also granted permission to install the facility.

Other automatic weather monitoring stations will be set up in Kamala, Karon and Pa Khlok as part of a network of 820 such stations set up nationwide, K. Chumnong said.

“The Meteological Department currently lacks coastal weather information. We used to receive such information from commercial ships, but now fewer commercial ships pass through the area so these stations will help measure temperature, humidity and air pressure. The data will be sent to our center for us to analyze, which will help us more accurately forecast the weather,” said K. Chumnong.

The data will be sent automatically to the National Disaster Warning Center and automatically uploaded to a TMD website so that all TMD officers can access the data, he added.

Phuket News

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