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Phuket Airport re-opens after tsunami scare

April 12, 2012

Flights to and from Phuket Airport were back to normal on Thursday after being shut down during a tsunami scare sparked by a 8.6-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia.

“Actually the airport already re-opened Wednesday night after the tsunami warning was lifted,” said Bang-orurat Shinaprayon, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Thailand’s National Disaster Warning Centre on Wednesday afternoon issued a tsunami warning to the six provinces along the Andaman Sea; Krabi, Phuket, Phangnga, Ranong, Satun and Trang.

It lifted it at about 20:00 (13:00 GMT) when it was clear the earthquake off Aceh in Indonesia had failed to generate a tsunami.

Tsunami sirens were activated and hundreds of tourists evacuated in Patong and other popular beaches on Phuket Island, 700km south of Bangkok.

Flights delayed

“The warnings systems worked well,” Bang-orarut said. “All sectors, the hoteliers, government offices and the warning centre co-ordinated very well and controlled the situation,” she added.

Phuket International Airport was closed for several hours during the scare, with more than 15 flights delayed.

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