Ten years after the tsunami in Thailand: the warning system is operational

The tsunami in Thailand was 17,000 victims (over 5000 dead, 8500 injured and about 3,000 missing) in December 2004. In particular, because the country was with no warning system. It has been created since then, and every year it is tested, in October. This does not prevent the Thais to be panicking at the slightest announcement of an earthquake in the region.
In Khao Lak, one of the places most affected by the tsunami in Thailand, found throughout the coast, warning signs that tell of places of refuge in case of tsunami. These Safe House, a kind of big houses are all built on high ground with closed rooms and platforms. They culminate up to fifteen meters high. They are designed to temporarily accommodate the number of people living in the area (50-100 people at a time).

Everybody knows, everybody knows what to do “if a signal sounds, it has to run, it was just time, about 15 minutes to get there,” says Man Phetsara -Pôd- guide tourism. Every village has one or more of these Safe House. Since December 2004, they were never used. But false tsunami warnings scared the population. “When we learned that there are earthquakes, especially in Indonesia, often times there are moments of panic, and then everyone runs to these homes. But what matters is that it is now, it’s better than nothing! »

Every year in October, before the high season, we organize a real test to see if the system works.

The interest of disaster movies

It was in 2004 that left the film The Day after Tomorrow, Hollywood disaster movie about the harms of climate change. Lim, the fishing village of Baan Nam Khem, had seen just before the tsunami. That’s why this morning, when he saw the sea recede at once and find the boats in dry dock, he warned tourists on the beach and told them to go away quickly.

Twenty of them followed. And were saved. “The others,” he said with a smile sorry “did not listen to me …” Children Lim, who were in the village have been spared because they were up on the highest terrace one of the houses. They were watered, but clung, and fortunately the foundations of the house have held up.

This is far from being the case in the village … Most of the houses of the fishermen were destroyed. The Thai government has funded reconstructions, but the houses built in hard, are often much smaller than the fishermen of the village lived before …

There are also those deserted houses. “Sometimes,” said Pod, “it has provided a home for a family, but there is only one or two people, the other died … and people do not like to live here.”

This is probably also why the houses bordering the two boats, red, blue stranded in the middle of nowhere in the village after being thrown by the waves, are deserted.

The spirits of the dead haunt maybe … And nobody wants to live in a dismal place

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