Rains and storms lash Phuket with more regions bracing for a heavy downpour
FIERCE TROPICAL storms have pummelled the tourist island of Phuket.
Rain started lashing the southern province on Thursday night, unleashing landslides and flooding in many areas and disrupting flight schedules.
In the Kamala beach area, a mudslide triggered by heavy downfalls overwhelmed a construction site for nine pool villas.
Just the foundations and first floors had been completed when the collapse occurred.
No injuries were reported, according to Kamala Police.
In the nearby Patong beach area, several roads were underwater, prompting local traffic police to advise people to avoid flood zones.
Officers from Patong Police Station said they were forced to move upstairs because the first floor was covered by 60 centimetres of water.
At Phuket International Airport, torrential rains had diminished visibility to the point that the landings of eight aircraft had to be delayed.
The delays started at 9.10am when JetStar flight 3K533, which was due to arrive at that time, had to circle the airport pending improved visibility. It landed at 10.25am. That interruption caused a chain reaction of delays for seven more flights.
The airport said another flight had to detour to Krabi airport.
Normal landings resumed at noon.
In Thalang district, several neighbourhoods were submerged.
A big tree fell over on a road in the Paklok area, causing traffic jams.
Phuket looks set to face more floods today.
According to the Meteorological Department, the influence of Typhoon Doksuri and the southwest monsoon mean possible heavy downpours for various provinces of Thailand including Phuket.
Issued at 4am yesterday, the warning said cloudbursts would likely continue in five regions of Thailand till today.
The department said that although Typhoon Doksuri would be downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached Thailand’s Northeast, it would still spread rain around here.
The storm, coupled with the strong southwest monsoon prevailing over the Andaman Sea and the South, would dump more rain on the North, Northeast, Central region, East and South, the warning said.
As for the South, Phuket is among the ravaged provinces along with Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Ranong and Phang Nga.