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Phuket gets wet in 1957, and little seems to have changed - until now

Phuket City Bids to Ease Floods With 25.7m Baht

Thursday, September 23, 2010
PHUKET CITY Municipal Council has reacted to excessive floods earlier this year by devoting 25.7 million baht to improving the drainage system around the new Phuket fresh market in the old part of town.

The expenditure includes a pumping system that is expected to ensure the damage caused on Friday, August 13 - an unlucky day for those with shops on the low side - is not repeated.

Phuket shop owners from Old Phuket Town could not stop the rainwater from invading low-lying stores on that day. Even stores with their own pumps failed to keep up with the deluge.

As the damages bill mounted, so did the anger of the storekeepers. One irate Phuket hardware store owner, still mopping up late in the afternoon, told Phuketwan: ''I just heard today that the council are off to visit Macau [the island destination close to Hong Kong in China, noted for its casinos].

''The money they are spending on that trip should be spent on cleaning up the canals, so they flow properly.''

The flooding centred on Yaowarat Road, Ranong Road and Phang Nga Road in Old Phuket Town. Another storeholder said: ''I think it happened because the tide was high at the time and the water simply backed up in all the drains. The rain kept coming solidly for about an hour.''

Somebody up there appears to have been listening. Mayor Somchai Suwansupapana and the rest of the Phuket City council approved the expenditure yesterday.

Soon after the August floods, Phuketwan came across a historic photograph that indicated the problem was not a new one - the floods in the photograph hanging on the wall at Phuket Provincial Hall dates back to the 1950s.

Hae times changed? We'll know for sure the next time there's a downpour that equals or exceeds the one from August 13.
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