The jovial atmosphere of the evacuation drill at Soi Bangla, televised nationally, was in stark contrast to other parts of the island, where the sirens sounded but people acted with indifference.

PHUKET: Andaman Wave 007, the first regional testing of the 79 National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) tsunami warning towers along the Andaman Coast, was conducted at 9:45 this morning, with mixed results in Phuket.

While impressive mock evacuation and emergency response drills were being staged for the media on the beach at the foot of Soi Bangla in Patong, residents in other parts of the island complained that the sirens and recorded voice warnings were too quiet, with some warnings not making any noise at all.

The evacuation at Soi Bangla was reminiscent of the April 2005 evacuation, with helicopters staging offshore maneuvers, rescue workers assisting the elderly, and volunteers pretending to have various handicaps and injuries.

In Kalim, less than two kilometers to the north, the only signs of activity were at Baan Kalim School, where 300 students ran to the third floor of the school from the courtyard in under a minute. Other residents in the area disregarded the siren.

Along most of Patong Beach and Kalim, people said they could hear the siren but could not make out voice-recorded warnings aired in different languages.

People more than a few hundred meters back from the beach said they heard nothing at all, as the sounds were completely drowned out by the noise of passing traffic, strong offshore winds and construction projects.

A group of lifeguards stationed at the beach in front of the Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa said they had heard no warning sounds.

“One thing is certain: if the siren sounds at night there is no way anyone will be able to hear it along Soi Bangla,”
said a woman selling tours from a roadside kiosk.
Speaking from NDWC headquarters in Nonthaburi, NDWC Director Dr Smith Dharmasaroja said he was satisfied with the performance of the 79 towers, but was displeased by the failure of local authorities in many areas to carry out evacuation drills.

source reference : Phuketgazette Click to read more.


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Mr. Cheyenne Morrison said... @ July 27, 2007 at 9:24 AM

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