On December 24th, at the tip of Sapan Hin park, beside Phuket Bay, Tri Akaradecha, the Governor of Phuket, presided over a marine and air evacuation drill in case of any tsunami disaster. The governor also signed an agreement of academic participation with Prince of Songkla University’s Southern Health Research and Development Institute and Phuket Public Health Office. There were representatives from Aceh in Indonesia, the Governor of Kanchanaburi Province, and from foreign countries’ embassies and consuls in Thailand observing the drill.
San Jantawong, Head of Phuket Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, said that in 2004, the 6 Andaman provinces were heavily affected by the tsunami since nobody knew and prepared for the situation. Therefore, it was important to educate people more about a disaster and how to deal with it.
Dr. Wiwat Sitamanote, the Deputy Director from Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, said that this drill would provide related people and Phuket residents an experience of dealing with a disaster. He added that Phuket was the first province that could provide a field hospital within 30 minutes. The island rescuing team was ready to rescue and evacuate people both by marine and air transportation. This drill could create confidence among locals and foreigners in their safety if a tsunami ever happened again.