Thursday, December 30, 2004

"Tsunami warning was stopped"

Just minutes after the earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Sunday morning, Thailand's foremost meterological experts were sitting together in a crisis meeting. But they decided not to warn about the tsunami "out of courtesy to the tourist industry", write the Thailand daily newspaper The Nation.The experts got the news around 8:00 am on Sunday morning local time. An hour later, the first massive wave struck. But the experts started to discuss the economic impacts when they were discussing if a tsunami warning should be made. The main argument against such a warning was that there have not been any floods in 300 years. Also, the experts believed the Indonesian island Sumatra would be a "cushion" for the southern coast of Thailand. The experts also had bad information; they thought the tremor was 8.1. A similar earthquake occurred in the same area in 2002 with no flooding at all.

We finally decided not to do anything because the tourist season was in full swing. The hotels were 100% booked full. What if we issued a warning, which would have led to an evacuation, and nothing had happened. What would be the outcome? The tourist industry would be immediately hurt. Our department would not be able to endure a lawsuit...

**************************
My only comment here would be that if these experts believed they would hurt the tourist industry by calling out an alarm and it turned out to be false, what do they think will happen to the tourist industry now?...commented by the blogger from.. http://www.bluelemur.com/

No comments: