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Bracing winds fail to stop tourists flocking to Big Buddha yesterday

Storms Lash Phuket as Games Athletes Bid Goodbye

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
PHUKET: Heavy rain and winds lashed Phuket overnight with more storms forecast and a warning issued today about likely landslips, plus the need for small boats not to venture out.

Motorists have also been advised to be careful in wet conditions with an 80 percent chance of rain forecast between today and Friday, not just on Phuket but north to Phang Nga and Ranong as well.

Organisers of the Phuket Games 2012 will be hoping that today's closing ceremony for the 28th National Youth Games, scheduled for Surakul Stadium in Phuket City from 5pm, will be spared.

The opening ceremony on May 26 fortunately escaped the brunt of the storms that have pounded Phuket consistently ever since.

Phuket can as usual blame Bangkok - the Phuket Games were to be held in sunny January but had to be postponed because of last year's severe flooding in and around the capital.

Despite the rain, it's expected that the 9600 young athletes and the 2500 officials, plus their families, will take away from Phuket friendly memories in every aspect except for the island's high prices.

Most of the visitors will probably be grateful they do not have to live with a public transport system as flawed as the one on Phuket.

With the Phuket monsoon weather doing its best to keep visitors from throwing themselves into surf at the island's beaches, the Director of the Phuket Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, San Jantawong, warned that landslips were becoming more of a possibility in Patong and Kamala especially.

''People need to drive carefully in this weather,'' he said. ''Small boats should stay ashore and local councils need to be looking out for signs of run-off from construction sites.''

Stormy winds are likely to gust up to 35kmh with waves up to two metres between now and Friday.

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