Smith Dharmasarojana is a hero to those in the disaster risk-reduction field. He was the Met Chief who raised the flag re a tsunami hitting Thailand well before 2004 December. He lost his job as a result. When the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami did hit, he was recalled and made the disaster-preparedness czar. Because of his drive, Thailand is among the best prepared for a tsunami or similar disaster today.
I have read about the mudslide triggered tsunami as a theoretical possibility (cannot actually recall specific mention of a historical event). The danger with this particular form of tsunami is that there is no prior earthquake for the sensors to catch. The only thing that can detect the resultant tsunami is a tsunami buoy of the kind that is now installed in the sea between Sri Lanka and Thailand.
When Smith Dharmasarojana speaks, I listen. This needs to be taken very seriously. What we in Sri Lanka can do is to improve the national warning system and prepare the villages, particularly on the East Coast, to respond fast and effectively. At the regional level, I guess we need to move forward on installing more buoys in the Bay of Bengal.
BANGKOK: Mountains of mud on the Indian Ocean floor could tumble down in an earthquake and trigger a tsunami that could lash the resort island of Phuket, Thailand’s disaster centre said on Thursday. The mountains — some more than seven kilometres high and 10 kilometres wide — are believed to have formed from sediment carried into the ocean by rivers running from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand. They sit near India’s Andaman Islands, said Smith Dharmasaroja, chairman of the National Disaster Warning Centre.
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