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Severe Flooding in Phuket Causes Widespread Disruption and Damage

Heavy rainfall over the weekend has led to severe flooding in Phuket, Thailand, causing significant disruptions to daily life, transportation, and local infrastructure. The relentless downpour has left many areas submerged, prompting extensive cleanup efforts and raising concerns about the island’s infrastructure development.

Key Takeaways

  • Heavy rainfall over the weekend caused severe flooding in Phuket.
  • Major disruptions to transportation and daily life were reported.
  • Cleanup efforts are underway, led by local authorities.
  • Concerns have been raised about Phuket’s infrastructure development.

Flooding and Immediate Impact

The torrential rains began late on Saturday, June 29, and continued into the early hours of Sunday, June 30, leading to widespread flooding across Phuket. Key areas affected include the Tha Rua Monument intersection, Ban Koh Kaew, and the roads leading to Ban Pon and the Blue Tree Choeng Thale Hotel. Some homes near the Loch Palm Golf Club were nearly a meter underwater.

In the Tambon Kamala area, muddy water from nearby mountains exacerbated the flooding. Local authorities have indicated that the floodwaters are expected to recede within a few hours after the rain stops, thanks to the island’s drainage system.

Cleanup Efforts

By Monday, July 1, the floodwaters had largely receded in most areas, but some regions, such as Moo 4 and Moo 6 in Tambon Thepkasattri, remained affected. Evacuated residents have started returning to their homes, and local authorities are working to clear the remaining mud and debris.

Phuket Governor Sophon Suwannarat has been at the forefront of the cleanup operations, particularly in Kamala, where homes were inundated with mud and garbage. Water pumps have been deployed to speed up the drainage process, and relief efforts are ongoing for affected residents.

Infrastructure Concerns

The flooding has highlighted significant concerns about Phuket’s infrastructure development. The President of the Phuket Tourist Association, Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, pointed out that the island’s infrastructure is struggling to keep up with rapid urbanization. The inadequate drainage systems and insufficient budget allocations have been major issues.

Phuket’s annual budget of 170 million baht is considered insufficient compared to other major tourist destinations like Bangkok and Pattaya, which receive over a billion baht annually. Large infrastructure projects, such as the Patong Tunnel and a new motorway, have stalled despite multiple visits from the Thai prime minister.

Comparative Weather Challenges

While Phuket battles flooding, the neighboring island of Koh Samui is facing a severe drought. Koh Samui’s main reservoirs are nearly dry, and residents are experiencing water shortages. In contrast, Phuket received around 330 millimeters of rainfall last week, leading to widespread flooding.

Efforts are being made to install water pumps in flood-prone areas and clear debris from roads and waterways. However, residents are concerned that slow progress in these efforts could lead to further flooding if heavy rains continue.

Moving Forward

Local government organizations, along with the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Center, are providing initial assistance and conducting damage surveys. Evacuations and relief efforts are ongoing, with essential items being distributed to flood victims.

Phuket’s experience underscores the need for improved infrastructure and better disaster preparedness to handle such extreme weather events in the future.

Sources

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Gaël Ovide-Etienne
Gaël oversees all marketing efforts for Ocean Worldwide. He manages marketing campaigns to connect with prospective buyers, conducts research and market analysis, and leverages AI to enhance all aspects of the business. This approach ensures better and faster results for our buyers and sellers.

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