Thailand lost last tsunami warning buoy

Thailand’s second tsunami warning buoy is silenced in the Indian Ocean, the first has broken away and drifted

Thailand lost last tsunami warning buoy

The Department of Disaster Management of Thailand launched a search for the second of two tsunami warning buoys, which were located 340 km off the coast of Phuket and stopped transmitting signals on June 9. The first buoy had previously fallen off its mounts and was drifting, and is scheduled to be replaced around November. Until then, Thailand will have to rely on signals from buoys from other countries, which happens regularly.

On June 13 the Thai Public Broadcasting Service reported that the second buoy of the tsunami early warning system was also out of action. The news agency specified that DDPM specialists have already started searching for the so-called “Station 234641”. The website of the U. S. center for data collection from such buoys indicates that the last signal from the station was received as early as June 7.

The publication added that the replacement of both malfunctioning devices should be carried out in November, when weather conditions in the Indian Ocean become more favorable. At least that’s what DDPM told journalists, and that’s how it has been done before — each time the buoys were not replaced until November.

Another problem of the Thai tsunami warning system became known on May 25. According to the Department of Emergency Situations of Thailand, the first of two buoys broke off the mount, and information from the second buoy did not stop coming to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) due to problems in data synchronization.

The department clarified that during a routine inspection last October, the first buoy of the Thai system, Station 23401 in the Andaman Sea about 965 km west of Phuket, was found to have fallen off its mounts and stopped transmitting data. The buoy was found and recovered, but it will not be re-installed until this November when the sea situation improves.

The second buoy — “Station 23461” approximately 340 km from Phuket — is still in its intended location and transmitting data, but due to problems in communication with NOAA servers no information is displayed on the site. As explained in the Department of Emergencies, work to fix the problem is already underway. However, even an approximate date for the restoration of synchronization, the department did not name.

Recall that the Thai part of the international system of warning of tsunamis in the Indian Ocean consists of two buoys — the mentioned stations 23461 and 23401. After the signal from the first buoy, Phuket residents will have 45 minutes to evacuate, after the signal from the second — 90 minutes. In addition, as officials said earlier, the coordination center also receives information from stations in other countries.