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Phuket officials rush to reassure public after tsunami warning towers sound alert


Officials in Phuket said there was no cause for alarm after two tsunami warning towers sounded an alert early yesterday morning, April 27. The alerts followed a 4.6-magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where a 9.1-magnitude earthquake triggered the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.

The Phuket News reports that the head of the Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office issued a statement to say there was no cause for alarm. Udomporn Kan confirmed that both tsunami towers had sounded an alarm, but added that there was never any risk of a tsunami. It’s not known why the alarm sounded at both towers and Udomporn says technicians are investigating.

Weera Samali from the Southern Western Meteorological Centre near Phuket Airport, has pointed out an earthquake would have to register a magnitude of at least 7, in order for there to be a tsunami threat.

“I would like to confirm that the magnitude 4.6 on the Richter scale did not reach the threshold for tsunami, therefore it is unlikely to be the cause of disaster or tsunami.”

Weera went on to say that the Marui fault line near Phuket lies across land, not sea, and therefore can’t trigger a tsunami.

Meanwhile, Chaowalit Nitharat from the DDPM Region 18 office says all tsunami warning towers in the Andaman region are operational and each province has evacuation plans in the event of a disaster.

“Every alarm tower is effective and ready to use, and staff have been assigned to conduct regular inspections and carry out any repairs.”

Chaowalit added that the tsunami warning buoys in the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean are also working correctly and in the event of an evacuation being necessary, will provide enough warning ahead of time.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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