After the National Disaster Warning Center lifted tsunami alerts in six Andaman coastal provinces late Wednesday, tourists returned to the beaches to swim and enjoyed walking and shopping Thursday morning along Patong Beach as they are confident in the warning system.
Luke Wheatland, an Australian tourist, recalled that he and his girlfriend heard the siren blaring yesterday and rushed back to their hotel. They were advised by hotel staff to evacuate to higher ground.
“I was afraid. Who wouldn’t be? Of course after seeing what happened in 2004, everyone knew to move fast. Very scary. Glad it didn’t happen,” he said.
At Soi Bangla, where the Songkran Thai New Year festival will be held tomorrow, traders have set up stalls to sell plastic water guns and other gadgets to Songkran revellers to prepare for the water fight.
Somboon Jirayus, President of the Phuket Tourist Association, said that there were no reports of early check-outs or room cancellations.
Meanwhile, Phuket International Airport was crowded Thursday morning after resuming operations. All stranded passengers were expected to leave the airport today.
Despite the lifting of the tsunami alerts, some local residents in Thachatchai village in Thalang district, have not yet returned to their beachfront homes and are still staying in a temporary shelter at a temple.
Report by : MCOT