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Monday, 25 July, 2005

Thailand lifts tsunami warning

Thai authorities lifted a tsunami warning early on Monday and declared the southwest coast, including Phuket island, safe after a major earthquake in India's Nicobar Islands.

"After closely monitoring the situation ... it was determined that there will be no tsunami to endanger people's lives," the National Disaster Warning Centre's director Plodprasop Surasawadi said in a live broadcast.

"Therefore the centre has cancelled its earlier warning."

Thailand, which saw its Andaman coastline slammed by last December's tsunami and suffered about 5 400 deaths, went on rapid and full alert shortly after US seismologists recorded a quake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale. The earthquake occurred some 660 kilometres west of Phuket island, Thailand's main beach tourist destination, which was hit by the December 26 disaster.

National emergency television broadcasts alerted millions of Thais to the threat, and disaster warning sirens blared along coastlines including Phuket's famed Patong beach, where police helped local residents and Western tourists evacuate to higher ground.

(Source: News24)
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