Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by HHCanuck » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:39 pm

jingjoe wrote:no chance of getting a tsunami inside the gulf, i can't quote the reasons why, but it can't happen
All the trash slows down the waves.

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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by StevePIraq » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:09 pm

I was in Phuket in 2012 when the Tsunami alarm went off, every one in a car just left it and ran up the hills, all the Thais disappeared and all Farangs were left to themselves to figure out what to do. We spent 4 hours on the roof of our hotel then the same alarm went off again, apparently this was the all clear but no one had any clue. We ended up having to break into hotel rooms to get water for people on the roof. No plan at all except for some signs near the beach telling you which way to run, dah anywhere but into the sea.
I am sure HH is no better organized however I do not believe we can have a Tsunami in the gulf as we are protected by the mainland.
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:35 pm

They reckon they had one up the Severn Estuary once, which is why I say never say never :wink: . Seriously, if there's absolutely no chance (I know nothing about these things, and will be the first to admit it), why would anybody plonk a warning tower in Hua Hin?

I've seen the signs on Phi Phi Island, and they all seemed to lead to a very narrow staircase. Yes, it goes way above sea level. However, I would think many would get killed in the crush if everybody followed the evacuation route.
all Farangs were left to themselves to figure out what to do
That was the point I was making earlier. How did you know it was a Tsunami warning? Was it a talking warning saying, "Tsunami Warning," or was there another way of identifying what it was? You'd think if there's any chance of an alarm going off, there would at least be a 'what to do if' card in every hotel room in the event a warning was sounded. OK, most people would probably ignore it, but it makes sense to me. Sorry, I got carried away - TIT. :?
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by MDMK » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:25 pm

Earlier this year, February and March, we were staying in a (big, renowned, well managed, 5 star) Khao Lak hotel. Bearing in mind that Khao Lak was the hardest hit place in Thailand in the 2004 tsunami the following made me laugh or made me cry or made me think TIT.

While we were asleep a letter got posted under the door of every room telling us about the tsunami evacuation drill that would be taking place in the whole of Khao Lak later that day (about 30km of beach there I think). All emergency services etc would be there and their activities would center around the Bang Niang area. The letter from the hotel detailed what all guests should do. Basically, when the alarm goes off, take off in an orderly manner to high ground, follow the directions of the help services that would meet us as we left the hotel, with a rough description of the evacuation route. i.e up the mountain till you get told you’re in the safety zone. Wait until we get the all clear, then head back down to the hotel.

I read this letter at 6am, wake my husband and we both rush off to shower and get ready for the big day. I pack a bag with basic essentials (water, phone, charger, power pack, meds, passport, credit cards etc). Our hotel had a lot of SAGA guests (for non UK people SAGA is a tour organization that specializes in elderly holiday makers). The elderly British couple in the room next to us were with SAGA and he couldn’t walk at all and was confined to a motorized wheelchair. We had to help them a few times getting around the hotel as there were steps everywhere his electric wheelchair couldn’t handle. I wanted to be up and ready for them waking so I could assure them we’d help out at evacuation time. They couldn’t get around the hotel grounds without at least two strong bodies to help with steps for the old bloke’s motorized wheelchair.

Get to breakfast at 7am to find a lot of other (fairly active) guests like us were worried about how we and the hotel were going to deal with the high numbers of handicapped, mobility impaired and just elderly guests. The evacuation route detailed in the letter was VERY steep and partially off road, and would have been challenging to a fit 25yr old in that heat, let alone the elderly and disabled.

So a few of us able-bodied have a little improvised meeting in the breakfast place and two of us, myself and a guy from Wales, get sent to the reception to coordinate with the hotel about how we/they were going to handle this evacuation drill with respect to the old and disabled guests. The others in our wee improvised group head back to their rooms to get their GI Joe shirts and their Bear Grills clobber on (and no doubt do some googling on mass evacuation techniques and jungle survival while posting it all on Facebook).

What a farce, we get to reception, finally get a duty manager/supervisor and get told “no problem ma’am sir, just ignore alarm, the evacuation drill not for guests, just for emergency services and hotel staff. No need to do anything, just stay on the beach or at the pool and have a cocktail”.

And that is exactly what happened. The alarm went off, a drill took place, but it certainly didn’t include any staff from our hotel, or any guests, or any mock-evacuation whatsoever.

Why the hotel even bothered sending all guests that stupid letter I will never understand. The letter should have read “the alarm will be tested at 2pm today, just ignore it, it’s a test”.

We could see from the local news on telly that night that all the emergency services, military, rescue orgs and police were all in Khao Lak and did some kind of exercise.

But if the Thai authorities are going to do an evacuation drill in peak season, then they do actually have to try to get at least the majority of the 10s of 1000s of hotel guests off their sunbeds and up that bloody big hill. Instead of that they do an evacuation drill that doesn’t involve any tourists whatsoever.

Insanity!

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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by uncle tom » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:35 pm

no chance of getting a tsunami inside the gulf, i can't quote the reasons why, but it can't happen
Correct.

For a serious tsunami to kick off, you need a tectonic shift in deep water - typically a contraction in the seabed that forces out the column of water above it.

The ocean to the west of Thailand that spawned the boxing day tsunami is around 50 -100 times deeper than the gulf to the east where Hua Hin is located, so an ocean bed movement there would not displace anything like the same amount of water.
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:21 am

So why did they plonk one in Hua Hin?
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by prcscct » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:30 am

Big Boy wrote:So why did they plonk one in Hua Hin?
My personal opinion based upon nothing but instinct is because of the person who used to live there so close to the sea, and that it could be seen as poor form if they didn't. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:33 am

Maybe it is just a mock-up for show then. That would explain why nobody has admitted to have heard whatever noise it should emit.
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by Bluesky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:48 am

Big Boy wrote:Never say never - there were a couple of earthquakes off the coast of Hua Hin a few years ago.
May be of interest An article "Evaluation of Tsunami Hazard in Vietnam and Gulf of Thailand"



http://www.ccop.or.th/download/Final_Ts ... ailand.pdf

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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:04 am

almost non-existent
So never say never :run: :D
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by Bluesky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:40 am

Big Boy wrote:
almost non-existent
So never say never :run: :D


certainly hasn't accounted for a "Black Swan" event.

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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by StevePIraq » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:15 am

In Phuket actually Kata beach the warning siren was very loud unfortunately at the same time a verbal warning was broadcast in different languages, I could not make any of the English out, my wife could not understand the Thai but I did pick up two words in Russian "Warning and High" I had no idea what it related to until some people shouted Tsunami, then everything fell into place. From the roof of our hotel we could see via binoculars a policeman who had been stationed on the beach who seemed to be peering out to sea also with Binoculars. No doubt when he saw a wave coming he would call his boss and advise him then ask what do I do now. Kiss your ass goodbye.
Following on from this my wife will no longer to any Andaman sea location as she des not believe the Thai authorities have any real plan.
The map posted previously states 136 towers on the Andaman sea coast nothing in the Gulf, however once the local headman knows he will no doubt come knocking on our door.
That CWarn is a great thing pity Thailand does not implement it.
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by buksida » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:31 am

We were in Ao Nang (Krabi) on the day and there was no warning aside from broken stories and rumour filtering through from those getting calls from Koh Phi Phi, 20 minutes later the first wave hit, many (including us) were still on or near the beach.
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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by RCer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:47 am

In 2006 I was on a SCUBA diving tour boat. We went on a night dive in Phi Phi to see the underwater monument they had built.

Unfortunately the leaders of the dive couldn't find it.

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Re: Tsunami 12 years on, 400 bodies unidentified in Thailand

Post by uncle tom » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:20 pm

The 'Black Swan' event that one should keep in mind in Hua Hin is not Tsunami, but Earthquake.

The published earthquake risk factors for the area do not square well with the local surface geology, which shows many signs of relatively recent and irregular upward movement,

Whilst the odds of a really bad quake are probably low in relation to your lifetime, there is precious little evidence of the Thais taking precautions when they design and build, so a relatively moderate quake might have serious consequences.

Just something to be aware of ..
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