Quake and tsunami predicted in S'pore & M'sia
BANGKOK: Thailand's now iconic meteorologist, Dr Smith Dharmasaroja, who in Year 1998 predicted a killer tsunami would hit Thailand one day & was ignored, said S'pore & M'sia were also in danger from a future earthquake and tsunami. "I believe the epicentre of future quakes will shift northwards, north of the Andaman & Nicobar islands."
"A big earthquake with a more northerly epicentre than the Dec 26 quake will generate a tsunami which will have a more direct route down to the Straits of Malacca, swamping S'pore and M'sia." during the month of december 05' and january 06'.
"As the sea passage narrows, more water will build ! up and the wave will become bigger. S'pore is relatively low-lying & quite flat, and would be badly affected.
Remember,in Dec,the tsunami was 30m high at Banda Aceh. At Khao Lak, it was 16m high," he said."
Dr Smith,70,retired as chief of Thailand's Meteorological Department well before last Dec's disaster.But before that, he had warned first in a speech and then in a memo that Thailand's Andaman coast was at risk from a killer tsunami.
Tragically his warning, although widely reported by the media, was ignored.
Government officials, fearful of tourists staying away, branded him a cranky and dangerous man. The authorities in Phuket castigated him & said he was not welcome to visit. After the tsunami, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra recalled him and made him the chairman of a committee tasked with developing a national! disaster warning centre and strategy.
"I'm not happy that I have made the right prediction," he said. "Nobody can accurately predict an earthquake; you can only assume from historical data," he added. He said big natural disasters occur in 80 year to 100 year cycles, apparently randomly across the world.
"If you speak out too much, forecast too much, you will get a lot of criticism, from government agencies, the tourism sector and so forth," he added. Explaining the northward shift of future epicentres, Dr Smith stressed: "This is no joke. I would like you to put this message out to S'pore and M'sia."
A researcher working on the hypothesis, who did not want to be named, said the research was on-going and final results were not yet ready.
Dr Smith said: "I have seen the simulations that indicate this and they look believable. From my own experience, it is possible."Only a few days ago, there was a 6.1 quake in the Andaman sea near the Nicobar islands, which is about 321.8km north of the Dec 26 quake.
So, this is an indication that the epicentre is moving north."