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Motorists across Phuket urged to exercise caution



PHUKET: Motorists throughout Phuket are urged to exercise caution today as flooding from last night’s storm has affected areas across the central and northern parts of the island.

Long tailbacks on Thepkrasattri Road are currently stretching from in front of the Isuzu showroom in Koh Kaew all the way back to the Watermark bakery on the bypass road in Bang Khu, and north all the way to the new Tesco Lotus in Thalang.

There have also been reports of flooding in Samkong in Phuket Town to as far south as the TOT building along Chao Fa West Road.

The Phuket Gazette has been told that the flooding in Chalong has dissipated and traffic is now flowing freely again, but traffic delays in Phuket Town are expected to continue throughout much of the day.

The wild weather last night saw heavy deluges lash the island in wind-driven sheets.

The Thai Meteorological Department weather monitoring station at Phuket Airport recorded 93mm of rainfall in a 24-hour period – 34mm of which occurrd within a three-hour period.

Phuket Town suffered a much more severe lashing, with 177mm of rain drenching the town within 24 hours – 95mm of that in just three hours.

Traffic on the bypass road, usually hurtling along at over 100kmh in the right-hand lane, slowed to 50kmh and eventually came to a standstill earlier this morning. One vehicle, however, ended up in the median storm drain separating the traffic flow. Workers are retrieving the car as this report is posted. The Gazette has yet to learn if anyone was injured.

The downpours last night followed the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) issuing a “heavy rain” warning on Saturday after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak moved from Laos into Thailand.

More “isolated heavy showers” are forecast for the coming days.

Rather strong wind-waves of about two meters are likely in the Andaman Sea. All ships should exercise heightened caution over the next two days, the TMD warns.


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