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Tuesday 5 July 2005

Thailand: Tsunami Warning Empties Beach (Alert Downgraded)

Tourists on one of Phuket's most popular beaches were evacuated on Tuesday morning after a new tsunami-warning system responded to an earth tremor off the Indonesian coast. Foreign sunseekers and local people were told to leave Patong beach by a multi-lingual warning alarm, according to the Thai television network, The Nation. In the aftermath of last December's tsunami, the Thai authorities have set up new mechnanisms to alert people in the case of earthquakes that could trigger killer waves.

The alarm was soon scaled down from red to yellow after it was established that the Indonesian eartquake had not prompted a tidal wave. Indonesian geophysical authorities say the quake on North Sumatra on Tuesday registered around 6.0 on the Richter scale. The quake triggered panic among residents in the North Sumatra capital of Medan. In the aftermath of the disaster, the Thai government launched an early warning network with the first segment operational in Patong, a popular beach some 600 kilometres south of Bangkok.

(Source: AKI)
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