Phuket International Airport has used chartered flights to transfer passengers stranded following Wednesday evening’s tsunami alert.
Phuket airport reopened at 8am Thursday, and Suvarnabhumi Airport prepared special flights for passengers whose flights to Phuket were cancelled.
The 8.6 magnitude earthquake hit off Banda Aceh at 3.38pm Bangkok time and was followed by another undersea quake measured at 8.2 off Indonesia, which triggered tsunami warnings in Thailand’s Andaman coastal provinces late Wednesday afternoon.
In the aftermath of the strong earthquake, local representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) facilitated tourists in moving from beachfront hotels and provided rooms at Phuket International Airport for stranded visitors on Wednesday night as all flights were temporarily suspended.
However, Thawatchai Aranyik, the TAT deputy governor, said he believed tourists understood the potential for a natural disaster and were reassured that Phuket is equipped with reliable warning systems.
Meanwhile, Mairat Peerayakoset, chairman of Association of Domestic Travel said the tsunami warning could make the situation tough for tour operations in the peak period during the Thai New Year Songkran festival. However, there had been no cancellations so far, she added.
In Trang province, Thai News Agency reported that hundreds of fishing boats were staying ashore, as residents of Kantang district remained fearful of a tsunami. They were advised by local authorities to monitor the situation and follow warnings issued.
Almost all hotel room bookings and resorts in Kantang, Palian and Sikao districts were cancelled following Wednesday’s earthquakes and tsunami alerts.
Trang Governor Seni Chittakasem said he has instructed the four coastal districts to inform tourists and local residents to stop worrying and resume their normal lives.
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