Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thailand Needs To Be Well-prepared For Nine Possible Disasters

April 30, 2011

BANGKOK, April 30 (Bernama) -- Thailand needs to be well-prepared for nine possible disasters, said the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) and relevant authorities on Saturday.

The nine disasters are namely storm surges, drought, coastal erosion, land subsidence, swift changes of sea levels, earthquakes, forest fires, tsunamis and global warming, according to Thai News Agency.

EIT chief Suwat Chaopreecha said: "That earthquakes normally happen quite far away from Thailand; so there should not be any serious impact on the country, especially Bangkok".

Suwat cautioned, however, if an earthquake erupts from a western fault, named Sri Sawat, where Myanmar and Thailand's western Kanchanaburi Province are located, it may significantly affect Thailand, probably including Bangkok.

He urged owners of local buildings with at least 15 floors to regularly conduct structural examinations, as the Sri Sawat fault remains active.

Besides, the EIT agencies will soon discuss preventive measures with concerned agencies and keep local people updated.

Meanwhile, Deputy Bangkok Governor Pornthep Techapaiboon said that there should not be any concern over buildings in the Thai capital constructed after 2007 because they are required by regulations of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to be designed and built to withstand earthquakes.

Pornthep urged owners to conduct structural examinations on their old buildings constructed before 2007, saying that such an examination should bear only a five-digit cost while safety ensured by the check-up appears to be priceless.