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Storm clouds gather over Phuket this afternoon with more rain tipped

Phuket's Big Wet: More Rain Forecast For the Next Five Days

Thursday, August 23, 2012
PHUKET: Deep grey clouds swelled over Phuket City again this afternoon as some of the 1000 businesses deluged in yesterday's freak downpour cleaned up and tallied the damage.

The Phuket-based Southern Meteorological Centre (West Coast) today forecast more rain between now and next Wednesday, with a 60-70 percent chance of rain and winds strong enough to keep small boats from venturing out.

What worries Phuket's army of flood-hit residents and businesspeople is not just the fear of more floods, but also the thought that tourists and regular customers will stay away for some time to come.

At the Raya restaurant just east of Old Phuket Town, staffer Kanorak Pongmet was today contemplating the costly outcome of the third inundation in quick succession at the well-known restaurant - one flood last year and two floods so far this year.

With the total Phuket City damages bill certain to run into millions of baht, the chaos at the small landmark eatery mirrored a much larger picture.

''Downstairs, the furniture is all wood and all damaged beyond repair,'' said Khun Kanokrak, who has worked at the Raya for five years.

''We are below the canal, so the water has nowhere to go except through our door...

''Phuket City municipality promised to send sandbags but they arrived too late. We tried to do our best.''

Others suffered too, even outside the historic Old Phuket Town zone of Phuket City, where damage was most intense.

At GT Studio in Vichitsonkram Road, central Phuket, Chaikamon Thongmee is not contemplating making music until the ruined drum set, speakers, amplifiers and electronic equipment are replaced.

''We have closed the studio until next week,'' he said.

Closer to Old Phuket Town, the owner of the SB Apartment block in Thepkasattri Road, Suwitchaya Saksiraharirak, said the water was knee-high yesterday.

''We were given sandbags by Phuket City council so we managed to mostly keep the water out and move the furniture,'' she said. ''Even so, the ground floor has suffered damage.

''What was worse, though, was that we had 30 or 40 people marooned in the apartment block. They couldn't get out, the water was so deep.

''Back in June we had floods. But this time it was much, much worse.''

At the Art Laundry shop in Old Phuket Town, more than clothes were drying out today. Equipment had been damaged.

The Town Inn Hotel, in Thepkasattri Road close to Old Phuket Town, reported that people could not get in or out.

And at Choomchon Advertising, on the up side of a road in Old Phuket Town, staff reported there was no problem. But outside the shop, there was traffic chaos.

With the forecast today for more rain through until August 29, the people we talked to were reluctant to even think about the possibility that there could be another bout of flooding.

At Phuket International Airport, where General manager Wing Commander Prathuang Somkhom yesterday told Phuketwan that two Thai Airways flights had been delayed awaiting the arrival of passengers, there were more delays this afternoon in fresh rain.

Nok Air Flight DD7507 to Bangkok was held up for 20 minutes and rescheduled for 3.45pm while the Bangkok Airways Flight PG 256 from Phuket to Samui was also held back over scheduled departure time.

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