Journal of Social Sciences


Panita Chaisom

Publication Date



The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake in the Indian Ocean was one of the deadliest natural disasters in the world recorded history which caused massive impacts on 14 countries including 6 provinces in the southern part of Thailand. It was Phang-nga province which experienced the highest death toll and sustained the most damage. For the relief operation, military personnel were the key providers of aids. All forces of Thai Armed Forces dispatched their personnel to the affected areas. The article shows military-military and civil-military cooperation in disaster relief operation in Phang-nga during the first-week operation. The findings show both strengths and limitations of the operation. The former includes (1) speedy and timely arrival of military personnel in the affected areas and air units from Bangkok; (2) personal connection providing the good impact to unity of effort, trust and respect, and happiness of personnel; (3) clear line of command, uncomplicated and flexible chain of commands, the independence of incident commander; (4) mutual trust throughout civil-military coordination; and (5) international supports. The latter includes (1) no pre-strategic planning; (2) poor needs assessment and analysis; (3) inadequate personnel and equipment; (4) the delay arrival of many military units from Bangkok; and (5) poor information gathering.

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