PHUKET: The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Phuket office will issue an official flash flood and landslide warning for Phuket residents today in preparation of worsening weather conditions this week.
“According to the Thai Meteorological Department [TMD], we can expect increasingly heavy rains tomorrow, which will run through the weekend,” said Santhawat Riwleung, chief of the DDPM Phuket Office.
“We are issuing the warning in expectation of heavy rain, as well as possible flash floods and landslides.”
The rain will be at its heaviest from June 17 through 21, with widespread thunderstorms and isolated showers across the island.
The advisory will be sent to every local authority as a precaution, confirmed Mr Santhawat.
“Already today we have received reports of some flash flooding. We have yet to receive any reports of landslides,” he said.
“The TMD predicted heavy rain in many places along the Andaman coast. Mainly in Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi, Phuket, Trang and Satun. Southwesterly winds are predicted to be 20-35 km/hr and wave height at about 2 meters. Wave height in thunderstorm areas is expected to be even higher.”
Officials will hold a meeting today to discuss whether or not small boats will be prohibited from going out to sea.
“Boat operators must be cautious and check weather forecasts regularly to make sure it is safe to go out, especially tour boat operators carrying tourists,” Mr Santhawat said.
Red warnings flags have already been positioned along Kata and Karon beaches.
“The red flags have been installed to warn people not to swim. We have informed our lifeguards to stop everyone from going in the water,” Kata-Karon chief lifeguard Uten Singson told the Phuket Gazette.
“We normally see tourists risking their lives in the sea. Fortunately today there are no tourists swimming in the area. We are doing our best to prevent anyone from doing so.”
— Chutharat Plerin
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