The siren sounded, a tsunami was on the way and people had to evacuate from Phuket’s Patong Beach. Some people were so enthusiastic about the practice drill they started running from the beach before the siren was even sounded.
Officials hailed the evacuation drill as a success. But some tourists were either bewildered by the 600 or so people that were involved and running away from the beach along Bangla Road, or just annoyed that their holiday was being interrupted.
The training for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation for Integrated Disaster Management Exercise for a tsunami was held at Patong beach yesterday between 1.30pm-5.30pm. Locals and tourists joined in, some more enthusiastically than others.
Post-mortem meetings are being held at Provincial Hall today to review the evacuation drill and decide if any of the emergency procedures need to to be modified or improvements made.
In the morning of December 26, 2004.The Indian Ocean tsunami killed a total of 5,398 people in Thailand with more than 3,700 missing in the waves that struck Phuket and the Andaman coast.
In total, the disaster claimed an estimated 230,000 to 280,000 lives across the coastlines of the Indian Ocean, with a focus on the Banda Aceh region of Indonesia.
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