The mandate came in the form of an official letter issued by PMD Chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut, and follows a weather advisory issued by the Meteorological Department that warned of heavy rain, winds and waves with heights of up to four meters today.
The mandate reads, in bold: “All boats less than 10 metres travelling to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Racha and [anywhere else] in the open sea are strictly forbidden to travel, with the exception of boats – travelling inside the Phang Nga Bay, to Koh Lone and other islands near Phuket – urged to proceed with caution”
Meanwhile, the ocean has regurgitated much rubbish back onto Phuket’s west coast; with reports of the entire length of Bangtao Beach being heavily cluttered with rubbish.
The accumulation of waste – which includes driftwood, sticks, discarded fishing nets, polysytrene and other discarded consumer plastic and waste – is the result of recent strong monsoon winds and waves that brought the rubbish from the sea, officials said .
Mr Phuripat noted that the PMD expects the monsoon winds and resulting weather to be more extreme than previous years, as the intensity only seems to be increasing.
Usually the southerwesterly monsoon winds last until October.