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Thailand Combats Natural Disaster with Gulf Radar
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, November 16, 2012
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Thailand
Created: Nov 20, 2012

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) will set up costal radar stations along the Gulf of Thailand to integrate data for disaster management.

GISTDA’s Executive Director Anond Snidvongs said that this technology will enable Thailand to keep a real-time record of information on waves, and water currents along the gulf, which has caused severe coastline erosion and storm surges each year.

With the budget of THB 540 million (US$ 17.6 million), the eighteen radar stations will be set up along the Gulf from Sattahip in Chon Buri province in the East to Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the South West, and down to Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Songkhla provinces in the South . An installation of the radars is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Located on the beach out to sea, these stations will transmit high frequency radar signals about data collected and relayed from the sea waves, and currents to a main radar base station in Bangkok. The radar extension will over around 100 kilometres in distance and 20,000 square kilometres of sea territory.

“[The radar stations] will study sea current and wave influence so the government has reliable information to set up measures to deal with coastal erosion,” Snidvongs said.

Regarding storm surges, this US-made equipment can also gauge the height of waves and their damage potential in order to alert the public.

This will give the government accurate information to make decisions for disaster management such as on evacuation plans and other safety measures at least three days before a disaster strikes.

“We will pass on information for free to any agency who wants it,” Snidvongs said.

Besides, the technology also can detect oil spills in the sea, he said.
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