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Thai officials insist faulty tsunami buoy won’t affect warnings

Tsunami buoy
Phuket tsunami buoy

Following the discovery that a tsunami buoy in the Andaman Sea has malfunctioned, officials insist this will have no impact on the early warning system.

On Wednesday of last week, the Foundation of National Disaster Warning Council reported that buoy number 23461, positioned some 340 kilometres off the coast of Phuket, has stopped emitting a signal. The foundation’s position is that this issue could put Thailand in a more vulnerable position were there to be another tsunami in the area.

The Bangkok Post reports that in response, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation took to Facebook to issue assurances that the faulty buoy will have no effect on the early warning system.

Department officials say the buoy stopped emitting signals due to having shifted position. However, officials say the early warning system receives signals from several buoys in the area, in addition to information from other agencies, including the Royal Thai Navy’s Hydrographic Department.

It goes on to say that this information can create a tsunami model, helping the authorities to issue early warnings for the 6 Andaman coast provinces: Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Satun, Trang, and Rangon, in the event of an earthquake triggering a tsunami.

The department says its personnel, with the help of the Royal Thai Navy, have already removed the buoy in order to carry out repairs. It also expects to receive a replacement buoy purchased from the US sometime in March.

However, officials say the new buoy won’t be installed immediately, due to the rough weather and sea conditions of the monsoon season. They add that installation will also need to be carried out by foreign experts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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