Thailand, which geographically lies in the middle of all the havoc, has not been exempt from the deluge. As the Pacific-borne super-typhoon-turned tropical rainstorm “Soudelor” made landfall in China this past week, weather warnings were issued for several provinces in the kingdom’s Northeast, while this season’s particularly strong southwesterly monsoons have continued to batter Andaman Sea coastal provinces.
Here in Phuket, we’ve been subjected to a relatively small taste of the August fury, so far. Last Friday (August 7) commuters were caught in two-hour-long traffic tailbacks amidst flooded roadways while distressed villagers in Nai Yang were displaced as metre-high floodwaters breached their low-lying homes (See story here).
Meanwhile, the monsoon has left much of the west coast cluttered with debris – plastic and organic – as beachgoers screamed bloody murder at the sight of discarded fishing nets, polystyrene and other rubbish mixed in with all the seaweed-laden driftwood that had washed ashore. (See story here.)
While some officials have suggested that the traffic, flooding and rubbish accumulation on Phuket beaches were all a result of the run of nasty weather, The Phuket News would like to humbly highlight the actual underlying cause and source: Us – you, me, them!
Indeed, humans are to blame for most of our own misfortunes, and more specifically our shortcomings and incompetencies when it comes to planning and prevention.
The weather didn’t discard the fishing nets and polystyrene into the sea – people did. And while the rain did come down hard on Nai Yang, as it does this time every year, the flooding was a result of inadequate and clogged drainage systems.
As for the notion that rain causes traffic, is it not a result of chaotic roadworks and the addition of tens of thousands of new vehicles to the island’s roads every year, coupled with inadequate public transport?
No one will argue that the rain does not make a bad situation worse, but Phuket, like much of the region, needs more accountability. Blame it on a lack of budget, infrastructure or plan, but please, don’t blame it on the rain.