Dr Smith Dharmasaroja, the chief of the Thailand National Disaster Warning Centre speaks of Phuket Earthquake Warning!

Dr Smith Dharmasaroja, who warned Thailand to prepare for disaster before the Earthquake and Tsunami in 2004, has publicly announced to Phuket officials and residents to ready themselves for another severe earthquake.

The devastating mid ocean earthquake that struck off the Andaman coast line caused a Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 that caught everyone unaware. With earthquake and Tsunami warning and disaster planning in place many thousands of lives could have been saved. It was only 11 years ago, but it is easy to start to forget the power of nature and how quickly an earthquake can strike.

The warning was delivered by Dr. Smith as a part of his guest speech at the disaster-preparedness seminar held at the Vichit Municipality offices held on 25th June. He is the chief of the Thailand National Disaster Warning Centre, an agency responsible for issuing warnings to the nation for all kinds of impending natural disasters including floods, earthquakes and tsunamis.

He went on to say that if earthquake tremors are strong they can cause a lot of damage. Thailand has been experiencing more and more earthquakes recently. The Klong Marui fault line runs of the East coast of Phuket and there have been minor earthquakes recorded here earlier in 2015. “We cannot predict earthquakes, but we can prepare for them,” Dr Smith said.

The best plan is to educate people, especially children, older people and the handicapped, about earthquakes and tsunamis and what to do when they strike. This will include knowledge of how and where to evacuate to. The Dr. said that all municipalities in the danger zones should have emergency broadcast systems in place to warn the public when an earthquake is detected. Once an offshore earthquake is detected, there is time to evacuate in readiness for a tsunami. It could be a false alarm, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It isn’t a matter of if a disaster like this will happen again, it is a matter of when.

Currently it is impossible to predict the exact time an earthquake will happen, but there are warning signs directly before. Animals tend to panic, birds fly away from the zone too a few minutes before.

One day science will discover how to predict earthquakes more accurately, but until then immediate public warnings following detection is the way forward.


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