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Millions of krill blanket Phuket beaches, spark tsunami fears

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PHUKET: Millions of krill yesterday washed up on the shores of Kata and Karon Beaches on Phuket’s west coast, sparking fears among local residents of an impending tsunami.

The krill were first noticed at about 4pm. Onlookers told the Phuket Gazette that some were still alive at that time, but later died.

“They were orange and each had a pair of claws that were bigger than its body. Some people put them in buckets of water so they could swim and were floating,” said one local resident.

“They looked like baby lobsters, so some people were afraid that it was a bad omen that a tsunami would occur,” the villager added.

Prajuab Mokharat of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and Wararin Wongpanit of the Phuket Marine Biological Center arrived to examine the phenomenon at about 7pm.

“People should not be afraid. We will find out exactly what has caused this, but it is most likely a result of climate change,” said Mr Prajuab.

The pair collected samples to take back to their respective offices to examine.

Into the night, Thais and foreigners streamed onto the beaches to see the krill first-hand.

One local taxi driver told the Gazette that he had never seen such an occurrence in his 44 years living in the area.

— Yodsak Jarana

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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