Thai PM tells agencies to be ready for possible tsunami


BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Relevant agencies have been instructed to monitor developments on the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano eruption and ensure that Thailand’s disaster warning system is in working condition, a source from Government House said on Monday (Jan 18).

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has also instructed relevant agencies to communicate with each other and prepare to mitigate disaster in case a tsunami is created by the eruption.

On Sunday, deputy government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul said the eruption on Friday and Saturday had taken place about 9,500km away from the coast of Narathiwat. However, the eruption triggered tsunami warnings and advisories for several countries across the Pacific, including American Samoa, New Zealand, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Australia, Japan and the US.

Meanwhile, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported that Thailand has two tsunami detection buoys – one in the Indian Ocean, which provides a warning close to two hours in advance, and another in the Andaman Sea, which provides a warning 45 minutes in advance.

“The Indian Ocean buoy is in working condition, but the one in the Andaman Sea has floated away from its position and the department is getting another buoy ready in its place,” the department said.

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