Officials Instructed to Closely Monitor the Earthquake and Flood Situation (30/03/2011)
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has instructed all agencies concerned to closely monitor earthquakes and flash floods and provide assistance to affected people.

The Prime Minister gave the instruction following the earthquakes that were felt in northern Thailand and Bangkok on March 24. Since March 24, southern Thailand has also experienced heavy rains and flash floods.

The quakes that took place in Myanmar have prompted Thailand to work out measures to cope with possible quake disasters in the future. As a close neighbor of Myanmar, Thailand is prepared to support Myanmar to alleviate the plights of the earthquake-stricken people.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on March 28 reported the earthquakes and impacts on Thailand to the Cabinet. According to the report, there are 13 active faults across 22 provinces, with 308 districts, in Thailand. An earthquake risk map has been drawn up for the Ministry of Interior to set ministerial regulations on building control. Relevant agencies would assess changes in disasters and seismic fault lines around in Thailand, as well.

The Prime Minister said that the Ministry of Interior was told to seek various ways to install protection for buildings against earthquakes. It also needs to work in a more integrated manner with various agencies in conducting earthquake preparedness and precautions. The construction of high buildings would also have to be able to handle earthquakes in terms of prevention and mitigation of damage. He said that the recent quakes would lead to the improvement of warning systems and more public awareness of natural disasters.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Satit Wongnongtaey was entrusted with inviting related agencies to discuss this issue. The Prime Minister said that the Government would not be complacent and, at the same time, it urged the public not to panic over the situation.

As for flooding in the South, he said, the Government is accelerating the provision of immediate assistance to affected provinces, namely Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Trang, Krabi, and Songkhla. Many districts have been designated disaster zones, and more provinces have been warned of the effects of flash floods.

The Ministry of Public Health has arranged mobile medical units to offer health services to the people in the affected areas. In case of emergency, the hotline 1669 is open around the clock to assist sick people. The Ministry also urged people, especially older persons and young children, to take care of their health during this period when the country has experienced a drop in temperatures.

The Government will assess the flood situation to offer compensation for the affected people.

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