How Resilient is Coastal Community for Tsunami Warning- Case Study from Ranong Province, Thailand

Early warning system (EWS) is an integral part of human to influence perceptions, decisions and behaviour in times of adverse conditions and crises. Thus an early warning system integrated science, institutions and society for hazard detection to trigger warning, influences behavior for decision making and community response. People still EWS as their immediate warning and evacuation process to save lives. The notion of the Last Mile originated from the need that EWS have to reach people at the local and community level with appropriate information in order to ensure that anticipated responses at the Last Mile can take place (Shah, 2006). The issues of the Last Mile underscore that EWS need to pay more attention to risk knowledge, response capabilities, and vulnerabilities of communities, including aspects of temporary and long-term migration. This paper discuss about a case study from Ranong Province of Thailand which was badly affected by 2004 tsunami. The effectiveness and strength of a local EWS depend on the cultural, technological and local governance setting, and the capabilities of the community. Beside the technical skills to operate EWS, participatory approaches (PRA) are essential to support the development and improvement of EWS by enhancing the involvement of the community. A survey was conducted first under the US Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (US-IOTWS) program in 2007 and evaluated in 2011-2012 with the same community to identify the community vulnerability and enhancement of community based EWS. It was found that tsunami memories getting faded to the community as lack of awareness and evacuation drills. Though many people feel safe from tsunamis, the majority of people interviewed were not content with the current tsunami warning alert system and evacuation plans.

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