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Flooding in southern Phuket was bad, but in other places it was worse

Weather Alert: Phuket Landslip, Flood Blocks Major Road, Samui Under Water

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
UPDATE

BUS services from Phuket to Had Yai and several other destinations in Thailand's south have been suspended for three days to allow flood waters to subside. Flights between Samui and Phuket have also been suspended.

Original Report

A WOMAN about to give birth was reported to be among those stranded in southern Phuket early today as a landslip triggered floods that blocked a major road near Chalong Circle.

Chaofa Road West became impassable to most vehicles after a slide near Phuket's large HomePro shopping centre.* Water was also rising on Chaofa Road East, the alternative route from southern Phuket to Phuket City.

Residents in southern Phuket turned out in large numbers after midnight to watch the waters rise. A Phuketwan reporter on the spot said that water about 1am was above the knees of people pushing motorcycles.

A mini-van packed with newly-arrived tourists was among the vehicles stranded.

Are you in the big Phuket wet? Send us your comment or photos


Elsewhere in Thailand, tourists and residents were trapped by floodwaters as torrential rain battered the large tourist island of Samui and the southern city hub of Had Yai.

Power and communications were down as the the heavy flooding - described by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as "a huge natural calamity" - turned its force from central and northern Thailand to the south.

With the national death toll topping 104, Samui airport was closed for several hours and AFP reported that expat tourists were stranded on nearby Angthong Island because of high waves.

Flooding was at its most severe in the south around Had Yai, forcing thousands from their homes. Rising water also caused mass evacuations over the border in Malaysia.

Aerial photographs by the Royal Thai Air Force showed rivers and streams had replaced streets and lanes in Had Yai. Flash floods - several metres deep in places - swept through the city.

Severe dousing on Phuket triggered a major landslip in Chalong and emergency workers from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation were struggling to clear the roadway as the downpour continued early today.

Organisers of the annual Phuket women's beach volleyball tournament at Karon were confident the tourney would continue after a damp start on Tuesday, although more heavy falls are forecast through to the weekend.

Brighter weather is predicted for Sunday, the final day of the event.

*The landslip came at the same time as the floods but was not the cause of the water rising.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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"a huge natural calamity"

It is indeed a calamity, but statements like this are quite annoying. Perhaps inflected by my own personal experience of once having a Phuket house destroyed by a flood - caused by the careless developers of the project next door who had diverted their runoff right through several homes in our soi.

The authorities at the time were also quick to blame the "big rain" instead of addressing the actual cause of the problem. Insurance agents, on the other hand, knew exactly who was at fault and left the homeowners on their own to file claims against the guilty party.

This process first required that the farang homeowners file criminal charges against the local and well-connected developers.

Anyone who lives here knows that filing such charges would result in either a defamation lawsuit or a visit from a couple of masked lads on a motorbike. So nothing was done.

My point is that the real calamity of all of these floods plaguing the Kingdom is that not only will most people have no recourse to recover their losses, but that nothing at all will change in local environmental and development practices. Which means things can only get worse.

Posted by Treelover on November 3, 2010 09:06

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Any update on the Chao Fa floods? 09.08am now and about to leave in that direction!

Posted by Sean on November 3, 2010 09:09

Editor Comment:

Waders or bathers, you have a choice. Our reporters left the scene about 1am. We'd expect that spot to be passable now but with so much rain in the meantime, we can't make promises or forecasts.

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"Any update on the Chao Fa floods? 09.08am now and about to leave in that direction!"

No flood, I drove that way at 9am today. Guess it subsided fast.

Can you add another update please saying that the afternoon was gorgeous and sunny. I was at Chalong jetty around 5pm, blue skies, calm seas.

Posted by Jamie on November 3, 2010 21:33

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I'm interested in how a land-slide near HomePro caused the flooding in Chao Fah west road.
The nearest hill to HomePro is at least two kilometres away.

Posted by Sir Burr on November 3, 2010 23:41

Editor Comment:

You're right. There was a landslip AND a flood. Poor editing at 2am.


Wednesday April 24, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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