PHUKET: Call it a torrent, call it a tempest, the intense monsoon downpour on Phuket yesterday flooded urban centres, filled canals to the brim and tore at Phuket's famous beaches.
Surin and Kata were among those hard-hit as the storm dumped rainwater in huge amounts all over Phuket, prompting locals with long memories to say they'd never seen a single storm so heavy with water.
Drainage systems in Phuket City and Patong have been improved to cope with most Phuket-sized storm floods, but Thursday's deluge exceeded the expectations of engineers.
Phuket City's main canal, pictured in our photo album above, suffered spillage in several spots despite its massive size.
Water tumbled through Phuket City shops, washed against sandbags at the famous Raya restaurant, surrounded Patong Hospital, and generally made life a misery for anyone on the move.
Last night, restaurants in the Sam kong district of Phuiket City served diners by candle and torchlight for the second night in a row as power failed for the third time in two days.
Emergency workers braved the wet to turn fallen trees to logs and restore power. Flooding in Chalong and Rawai especially brought traffic chaos all day long.
One school went under and sent an SOS for parents to come to rescue their children. A dive boat company announced it was going out on a day trip, regardless of safety concerns.
To any tourists who happened to arrive yesterday at Phuket International Airport during the storm, all we can say is: this is not the real Phuket. There is a sky and it will be blue again.
We just can't say precisely when. The forecast is for more monsoon mayhem through until mid-week.
Those visitors arriving from Europe may be comforted to know that Britain is forecast to face a ''monsoon'' of its own making later today.
And the most popular activity on both sides of the globe, in Phuket and Putney, will be looking out the window.