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Pattaya Daily News

10 April 2007 :: 11:04:41 am 30913

Tsunami-Warning Tower Tests Panic Uninformed Residents.

The preliminary testing of tsunami warning towers started on Saturday for the six Andaman-coast provinces, Krabi, Phuket, Phang Nga, Ranong, Trang and Satun, but due to the fact that provincial governments had not informed residents of the impending tests, not a few were alarmed by the sirens, fearing the worst. The testing had to be stopped, prematurely.
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However, all was not in vain as the first round of tests for the Phuket’s 19 towers went off without a hitch. Local residents had been pre-informed and there was no panic, according to Arun Kerdsom, Phuket Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Chief.

Altogether there are 100 signal towers in the region with another 48 planned for the other Gulf of Thailand provinces. The existing signal towers will be tested at 9 am daily. Following the signal tower testing, the National Disaster Warning Centre intends a large-scale system test and evacuation drill three months hence.

However, centre officials were at pains to point out that future testing will be announced beforehand, next time, probably after Songkran. However, the tests will not be realistic in that they won’t have any of the genuine siren sounds or voice messages. They will only convey the sound of a “knock on a microphone”, according to the Chief of the Phuket Provincial Office for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM).

Additionally, 82 towers to warn people about floods and air pollution are to be built in Thailand’s Central, North and Northeast regions. So far, towers have been built in Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai and tests will be carried out in April and May.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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