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Phuket Governor orders stronger flood-prevention measures

PHUKET: The Governor of Phuket held a meeting at Phuket City Hall with various government agencies yesterday to discuss ways of preventing floods and landslides following heavy rain on Tuesday morning.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 7 June 2018, 01:36PM

Governor Norraphat Plodthong inspects the flood damage in Kamala on Tuesday. Screengrab: PR Dept

Governor Norraphat Plodthong inspects the flood damage in Kamala on Tuesday. Screengrab: PR Dept

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.

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“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.



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BenPendejo | 07 June 2018 - 22:58:26

Boy..busy day for the Govnr, doling out more blahblahblah orders for nobody to follow up on. And brace yourselves for more of it, especially in Kamala where numerous massive hotel projects like Montazure have filled in valuable floodplains but no infrastructure to accommodate it...just channel it away from the masses of new prison-block structures. Looks like Himalai also lost most of the slope.

vegasbaby | 07 June 2018 - 19:30:26

Only 'orders' when a camera is nearby.  The rest of the time it is corruption, incompetence and business as usual as part of acceptable Thai culture.  The correct 'order' would be to stop all new construction on the island until the infrastructure can catch up and have proper management.

Fascinated | 07 June 2018 - 19:16:18

No Mr Gov- Kamala was one of the most affected areas due to overbuilding, filling in the natural drainage areas and failing to keep the drains clean. The sois acted as rivers as there was nowhere else for the water to go.

A new system of drains in southern kamala will raise the roadbed about 8 inches and the overflow will flood people out, as their properties will be loser than the drains!

Foot | 07 June 2018 - 16:44:32

The same in 2010.  The 7-11/Ohlala soi was 2 feet lower then.  They then spent the next few years raising the soi and installing large diameter drainage pipes.  This solved all flooding problems.  So why now?  I suspect the pipes have been clogged over the past few years.  I never saw any maintenance or cleaning them of all the dirt and debris that accumulated.  That’s why it flooded again.

Kurt | 07 June 2018 - 15:12:28

Of course the governor orders, same order as all previous governors ordered. Why is ordering needed? Is it not the job of lower level paid officials to carry out these works around the year? Why Governor not sacks incompetent  Officials.  And why are waterways obstructed, which Official give permission for such things or not have removed them during the months of dry season?

Discover Thainess | 07 June 2018 - 14:38:04

And the developers who have buried the waterways and ripped up the trees on the hillsides that has caused this mess should pay for it !

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