Tsunami alert wasn’t needed, says NDWC

Posted on September 14, 2007  /  1 Comments

The National Disaster Warning centre (NDWC) Thailand, has defended its decision not to issue an early tsunami alert after the 8.4-magnitude earthquake off the west coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island on Wednesday evening. Instead, the NDWC made a broadcast three hours later telling people there was no cause for alarm. Centre chairman Smith Dharmasarojana said yesterday the delay was based on a thorough analysis of the situation.

The NDWC decided against a sudden TV broadcast to warn people about a possible tsunami because it predicted the quake, which struck about 6.10pm, would not cause giant waves in Thailand. The NDWC’s broadcast three hours after the first quake was mainly aimed at calming people down.

He said the centre followed warning procedures correctly, including sending 2,800 short messages via mobile phones to the prime minister and officials in provinces where a tsunami could hit.

He said the NDWC was alert to earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean around the clock, and would tell people to evacuate if their province was at risk. However, too many warnings would only panic people and have a bad impact on tourism.

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1 Comment

  1. Thai authorities have shown some sense after all. In Sri Lanka it was utter chaos. There were no proper evacuation procedures and people were seen running everywhere, carrying their belongings. They all were running from their homes that their homes could have robbed. Given the bitter experience in the past, I can imagine the panic they had. Knowing that well Sri Lankan government should have acted in a more responsible manner.

    There are earthquakes in the region near Indonesia frequently, and if Sri Lanka were to issue tsunami warnings every time there is a quake, people living in the costal best would have to vacate their homes 3-4 times a year. After some time, it would be like that famous story by Aesop. When a tsunami comes for real nobody would evacuate their homes.