In Tonga, the volcanic eruption triggered shockwaves and a tsunami in many countries, especially in the Pacific Rim, resulting in evacuation orders and tsunami advisories being issued in some coastal areas. Indeed, evacuation orders and tsunami advisories were issued in some coastal areas. Although the Tonga tsunami has stopped, many Thais are concerned about the potential consequences of future earthquakes.
Dr. Seri Suparathit, director of the Climate Change and Disaster Center at Rangsit University, said fault lines that may impact Thailand include: the Sagaing Fault in Myanmar, the Sunda Fault in the Andaman Sea that triggered the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and the Manila Fault in the Philippines. He said the Tonga volcano eruption sent a tsunami to the Philippines, but the wave height was only 10 to 20 centimeters and to reach Thailand would require a tsunami wave of 40 centimeters or more.
Mr. Seri said it was imperative for Thailand to have a standard disaster management and warning system, as only two of the six existing tsunami warning buoys are currently operational. One of the functional buoys is located 180 kilometers off the coast of Phuket, and the other is located in the Indian Ocean, 1,200 kilometers away. The other buoys may have faulty antennas or have been moved.
According to Dr. Seri, who served as governor of the provincial water authority, citizens should not just rely on the tsunami warning system because the error rate can be as high as 80 percent. He urged people to rely on their conscience, saying they should immediately move to higher ground if they feel an earthquake while on shore, feel shaky, see power poles shaking, or spot telltale signs of an approaching tsunami in the sea water.