A notice issued by Patong Municipality last night explained that small vehicles will be allowed up the hill from midday, while a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) last night said the lanes will be open from 1pm.
According to the report by PR Phuket, the decision to open the lanes up the hill was made at a meeting at the site of the landslide on the hill yesterday afternoon (Nov 29).
Present to make the decision were Kathu District Chief Siwat Rawarangkul, Kathu Mayor Chai-anan Sutthikul and officers from both the Patong and Kathu Police.
“Over the past few days, it was found that the groundwater pressure was lower than the critical threshold and soil movement below the critical threshold,” said the report.
Work on reinforcing the embankment below the landslide site had been assessed by civil engineers and the site was deemed safe to support small vehicles on the lanes uphill, the report added.
The report noted that pipes had been installed in the embankment to drain excess water from the soil.
The new assignment of lanes will be marked by barriers and cones, as well as warning signs, to guide motorists to use the correct traffic lanes, the report added.
The report noted that allowing traffic up the hill remained contingent on weather, and may change if the risk of a “soil slide reaches a critical value”.