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Downpours disrupt Samui, flight cancelled

Poor weather conditions cancelled or delayed several flights between Bangkok and Samui Island Thursday, as flooding and heavy downpours continued to wreak havoc on this otherwise tropical paradise.

As of press time, an official at the Bangkok Airways headquarters confirmed that the weather conditions disrupted flight schedule because the airline placed priority on the passengers' safety.

"Takeoffs and landings take place only when the condition is deemed safe," the official said.

Some parts of the runway at Samui Airport were reportedly flooded under heavy rain.

Koh Samui district chief Adisorn Kamnerdsiri Thursday declared his district a disaster-hit zone due to rising floodwater.

"I have instructed Tambon Samui Municipality to release flood water into the sea as soon as possible. If any construction is seen as obstructing water flow, it can be removed to minimise adverse impacts on people," Adisorn said.

He added that volunteers were now fanning out to help local people move their belongings to higher grounds.

"No casualty is reported. We are now surveying damages," Adisorn said.

Tambon Koh Samui Municipality mayor Warakorn Rattanarak said Taweeratpakdee Road was now partially flooded.

"At some spots, flood water is up to one metre deep and we close the road on certain portions," he said.

He said rescue workers and relevant officials needed to reach flood victims on boats only, because main local roads were impassable.

At Dao Market, vendors scrambled to move their belongings to higher ground as flood water was furiously rising. Alongside Koh Samui District Office and Koh Samui Police Station, local hotels and golf courses were inundated.

Flooding also damaged eight water pumps provided by the Royal Irrigation Department.

In a bid to release flood water into the sea, Koh Samui highways chief Parinya Veerajit already sent a backhoe to remove a portion of a local road to enhance water flow out of the town.

Koh Samui Tourism Association chairman Senee Puwasetthavorn described the situation as a crisis.

"The damage is beyond estimation," he said.

The Nation

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