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Koh Phi Phi marine park dive site closed off for the next 2 years after karst island collapse

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: National News Bureau

A popular dive site in the Koh Phi Phi National Park will be closed off for the next 2 years after 30,000 tonnes of rock broke off of a karst island, falling into sea and onto a coral reef.

Koh Mae Urai is a karst formation between Koh Phi Phi and the Krabi mainland. A large chunk of the rock formation collapsed last week and broke into 2 pieces, damaging the coral reef at a popular dive site known for its 2 underwater tunnels lined with soft and hard corals.

Chief of the national park, Prayoon Phongphan, says 300 square metres of the reef is damaged. A project is in the works to help recover the reef.

“These include staghorn coral, big star corals, ring corals, floral corals and brain corals, among others.”

The area was recently inspected by divers and national park officers as well as geologists from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Prayoon says they’ll close off the area for the next 2 years.

“The area where the island collapsed will be sealed off for 2 years for the safety of local fishermen and tourists. It is possible that more of the island will break off… Officials have already installed buoys and red flags to make sure no one enters the area. Park officers will also regularly patrol the area.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    James Pate

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    I guess it’s natural but I don’t remember seeing that before.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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