Thailand rules out possibility of tsunami : Thailand

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Bangkok, Sep 13 (UNI) Thailand's National Disaster Warning Centre ruled out the possibility of a tsunami striking the country's southwestern Andaman Sea coastal region as a result of the second big earthquake that struck Indonesia's Sumatra island this morning.

Smith Dhammasarote, who heads the country's natural disaster authority, urged residents of Thailand's six southwestern coastal provinces to stay calm as there was no threat of a tsunami.

Although Thailand did not issue a tsunami alert even after yesterday's quake, residents of the coastal provinces had panicked both yesterday and this morning on hearing the news reports.

Mr Smith, who became famous after the December 24, 2004 tsunami confirmed his earlier statements, then ridiculed, of Thailand's vulnerability to tsunamis, said Thai authorities had closely monitored the Sumatra earthquakes and there was no need for an alert.

Thailand's natural disaster warning centre can issue tsunami alerts at least one hour in advance after earthquakes near Sumatra and 45 minutes early in case of a temblor near India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, he said.

UNI

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