Preparedness in private sector

TRAGEDY RECALLED: A commemoration ceremony is held in 2014 in Khao Lak, Phangnga, to mark the 10th anniversary of the tsunami in Thailand. Below, the evacuation sign at Kholak Laguna Resort. PHOTO: Patipat Janthong

In Phangnga province in the South, Khaolak Laguna Resort has prepared measures to handle disasters, learning a lesson from the Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed over 8,000 lives in Thailand in 2004.

On learning of an earthquake happening in the Andaman Sea, hotel IT officer Jakkrit Jarumalai would use special software provided by the Princess Pa Foundation.

After the centric location and magnitude of the earthquake were calculated, Mr Jakkrit would be able to calculate if a tsunami would hit his hotel, how high the giant wave would be and how much time they have to flee.

The information would be immediately sent to the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation committee.

Once the authorities including the provincial governor agree, the alert and evacuation process can begin, said Niwat Jarumalai, Mr Jakkrit's father and head of the disaster warning system of the Princess Pa Foundation's southern region.

Announcements in five languages would be made and sirens would be sounded at the warning tower and broadcast to its network as far as 15 kilometres away. SMS messages would also be sent, he said.

Well-trained hotel staff would call for an assembly at the lobby, with a checklist of all guests, and a team would knock on hotel room doors to make sure all guests evacuate, Mr Niwat said.

Up the Khao Lak mountain there are evacuation centres and assembly points in the location high enough to be safe from giant waves, he said.

Children and the elderly would get priority to use these facilities, including 84 knock-down houses in tambon Bang Muang. Stronger people would have to head to shelters in higher locations.

PHOTO: Kornchanok Raksaseri

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