Speaking at the meeting yesterday (June 6), Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong said that one of the worst affected areas on Tuesday (June 5) was Kamala, which saw 136 millimetres of rainfall. However, the highest recorded rainfall was 147mm.
During a visit to Kamala on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Norraphat was told by local residents that this was the worse flooding they had seen for 20 years.
Governor Norraphat explained that Kamala is one of the worst-affected areas due to it being mountainous and overflow from the Bang Wad canal.
A number of properties in Kamala sustained damage following Tuesday’s floods with some properties being between 30-50 centimetres deep in water.
Governor Norraphat urged local government agencies to urgently assist those affected.
“Anyone who has suffered as a result of the floods should contact their local government office as soon as possible. Assistance will also be provided by the Phuket office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM),” he said.
With regards to landslides, Gov Norraphat said that he has instructed the Phuket office of the Highways Department and Phuket office of the Department of Rural Roads to join together to find solutions to the problem.
“We have also found that in some areas the construction of roads obstructs waterways. This is especially the case on Thepkrasattri Rd, which has many spots obstructing the waterway. This causes flooding along the roads and also in some agricultural areas,” he said.
“The Phuket office of the Highways Department must go out and clear these waterways to allow the water to flow. As we saw on Tuesday these blocked waterways cause huge problems for traffic on Thepkrasattri Rd and this is the main route for people travelling to Phuket International Airport.
“In addition, police officers must be on hand to facilitate the traffic and give advice on alternative routes,” he added.
Governor Norraphat also stated that Phuket should install a flood-warning system which should link the island’s 31 rainfall-monitoring gauges.
“Information from these gauges could be sent to the DDPM, Digital Economy Promotion Agency Phuket branch (DEPA) and the Royal Irrigation Department, and if necessary flood warnings could be sent to residents via their smartphones,” he said.
“Residents will then have knowledge about the amount of rainfall and can prepare themselves for any disasters,” he added.
It was also repeated that the island’s canals be dredged as soon as possible to prevent future flooding. “District chiefs are assigned to oversee the dredging of canals, especially in main road areas. Furthermore, pumps should also be installed in high-risk areas such in front of the front of Thai Watsadu on Thepkrasattri Rd so that water can be pumped away from the area and reduce the affect on traffic.
Finally, Governor Norraphat also ordered relevant organisations to help campaign against dengue fever in flood-risk areas.
“Public health volunteers must visit these areas and rid them of mosquito larvae. They must also educate people in the area about the risks of dengue fever,” he said.