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Fear of Kamala landslides prompts MP-elect action

Fear of Kamala landslides prompts MP-elect action

PHUKET: Following heavy downpours across the island yesterday (May 22), Phuket Move Forward MP-elect Chalermpong Saengdee has expressed his concern over potentially dangerous landslides returning to Kuan Na Yak on Kamala Hill.

By Nattha Thepbamrung

Tuesday 23 May 2023, 09:00AM

Landslides on Kamala Hill caused considerable damage during the heavy rains last October. Power poles were felled and the road was closed several times so workers could clear debris from the road.

“Now that it is raining again, local residents have started worrying about landslides, and especially that big rocks will come tumbling down [the hill],” Mr Chalermpong told The Phuket News.

Mr Chalermpong raised the issue with a post on Facebook yesterday that featured photos of the dangerous exposed hillside rock beside the road. Local officials installed road barriers along the side of the road, but Mr Chalermpong said plainly, “That is not enough.”

Mr Chalermpong said that he will visit the Phuket Highways Office today (May 23) to ask for a solution to the problem, and he will soon ask Kamala Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) for support.

“I understand that budget limitations at the local level may not provide enough support. The government needs to decentralise power so that the local authorities can solve problems in a timely manner,” he said.

“I will also ask the Phuket Highways Office about how to alleviate the local residents’ concerns about big rocks falling down the hill. In the future, we may have to develop wetlands and create an app that informs local residents about disasters [landslides and floods] in their areas,” he added.

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“Phuket has soil-based mountains and when it rains, the soil absorbs and holds the water, but when the amount of water is too much, there will be a landslide. An app will help people to avoid danger from landslides,” Mr Chalermpong explained.

“The risk of landslides has been resolved in Karon as well as on Patong Hill, but the area that I am worried about is just here at Kuan Na Yak. However, all the locations should be monitored for land encroachment because it could lead to a natural disaster,” Mr Chalermpong said.

Mr Chalermpong noted that he was particularly concerned about land encroachment as one of the causes of increasing the possibility of natural disasters.

“Apart from natural factors, humans encroaching on forest lands is a major factor. Building constructions that block natural waterways make it even easier for disasters to occur,” he said.

Mr Chalermpong noted that the issue will be raised with Cabinet once the parliament resumes.

“Once parliament reconvenes, we can raise the issue with Cabinet. We will push for a budget to solve this problem. It is better to do it right away than waiting or ignoring it,” he said.

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JohnC | 24 May 2023 - 09:13:52

The most pathetic whinger of all (Farce-nated) making out others are doing what he does constantly; criticize, moan and complain without ever having a relevant or constructive statement to make. I asked whether an expat who was screwed over ever got compensated and whinger makes out is was a criticism. How sad you really are!

Capricornball | 23 May 2023 - 15:02:57

Hopefully this is a sign of the new approach to governance that is so desperately needed, which is what the MFP ran their campaign on. Look forward and develop real solutions to real problems instead of waiting til sh*t hits the fan, thus leaving nothing but seat-of-the-pants disaster response. Hopefully the MFP also provides oversight to prevent corrupt officials from pilfering budgets.

Capricornball | 23 May 2023 - 14:55:01

I think this is the first time I have ever heard of a public official identifying a potential threat, and moving forward (no pun intended) to address the problem rather than kick the can down the road and wait for the next disaster. After cleaning up the slide, the current hacks just cleaned it up and put up the silly barriers, but nothing to address future slide potential. 

Fascinated | 23 May 2023 - 11:38:25

The whingers at work yet again- they are never happy. It makes sense for the hill to stabilise before clearing the debris. As someone affected by this it makes no difference to traffic flow at present but I see it in reality, not from an armchair. Thai says something constructive,  JohnC knocks it- no change there Mr Denver. Road was reopened very quickly after the slides.

Kurt | 23 May 2023 - 09:29:18

'....  Is that waiting for new Parliament a joke? So, till than we have to do with a app of mr Chalermpong about all land slide possiblities along Phuket's road sides? Now we just wait for a land slide disaster at that road stretch.

Kurt | 23 May 2023 - 09:22:50

Laughable to see these orange plastic 'barriers'. As usual, from the Officials a explanation what is happening, something we all know since last year October. Just distract attention from the question;  why has nothing be done at that road location since October? Why has forest encroathment at that area not been prevented? Now 'waiting' for the new parliament? Is that 'waiting&...

JohnC | 23 May 2023 - 09:03:58

How about the foreign guy who had landslides covering his property because of the illegal tree felling and clearing of land in Kamala. Was he compensated and did those illegally clearing it get arrested?


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