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Landslide close to Big Buddha ‘no threat’

Landslide close to Big Buddha ‘no threat’

PHUKET: A landslide on Saturday (October 5) just south of the Big Buddha poses no threat to the island’s famed monument, says the man who was the driving force behind the building of the 45-metre-high statue that dominates all views in the south of the island.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 9 October 2013, 11:34AM

Detail from the landslide photo posted on ThaiVisa by 'Hans Gruber'.

Detail from the landslide photo posted on ThaiVisa by 'Hans Gruber'.

Suporn Wanitchakul, President of the Creation Committee of the Phraphutthamingmongkhol Sattha 45 Foundation said he was unaware of the landslide until The Phuket News contacted him yesterday (October 8).

I must thank The Phuket News because I knew only about the land slide [on the north side] on October 5, which has already been cleared up.”

The slide was spotted by a Kata resident, who posted a photograph of it on the ThaiVisa Phuket forum under the username Hans Gruber.

“After The Phuket News told me about [the slide on the south side] and I saw the photograph, I contacted the Royal Forestry Department and the Phuket Land Development Department and they are supplying takien trees, vetiver grass and geogrid soil reinforcement. We started work on stabilising the top of the landslide yesterday [October 8].

“The top of the slide is about 100 metres from the base of the Big Buddha and I can confirm 100 per cent that the Big Buddha’s base is stable enough in the rainy season; it was constructed by experienced engineers.”

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On the north side of the Big Buddha, staff from the Chalong Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office were called out to clear the road up to the monument after a small landslide caused by continuous rain caused a tree to fall on Saturday afternoon (October 5), completely blocking the way.

The tree had to be sawed up to allow it to be removed, which took several hours.

Another landslide on Tuesday morning (October 8) at Baan Hua Kuan, in the foothills to the east of Kamala, blocked the local Kamala Rd with mud, rocks and a large uprooted bamboo plant.

Officials from Kamala Municipality, informed by local people, brought a backhoe and a truck-mounted crane, and spent two hours clearing the debris and unblocking the drains.

No one was hurt and there was no damage to private property.

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