Academic: Japanese tsunami less destructive than in 2004

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BANGKOK, 11 March 2011 (NNT) – An academic believes the tsunami recently triggered off the northeastern coast of Japan and sweeping across the Pacific Ocean is not as powerful as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Dr Smith Dhammasaroj, Chairman of the Foundation of National Disaster Warning Council, played down the current tsunami scare, saying that Thailand would not be affected as Japan, the country of the waves’ origin, is located as far as 5,000 kilometers away.

The 10-meter high tsunami erupted today as a result of a massive 8.9 magnitude undersea earthquake northeast of Japan, causing extensive damages to the island nation, especially Miyagi Prefecture and its capital Sendai. The waves are now radiating across the Pacific Ocean while places to be hit include Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hawaii and South Pacific islands.

However, Dr Smith pointed out that this tsunami would not cause destruction as monumental as its 2004 counterpart, which occurred off the western coast of Sumatra Island. The disaster impacted 14 countries bordering the Indian Ocean, including Thailand, and claimed over 230,000 lives.

Meanwhile, the Department of Mineral Resources has instructed related units to keep their eyes on the height and speed of waves in the Thai waters during this period. If any irregularities are found, a safety alert will be issued at once.