Connect with us


Opinion: Need to practice responsible journalism



PHUKET: As a regional tourism and transport hub, Phuket has an important role to play in easing the hardship of the hundreds of thousands of people who have been affected by the worst flooding in the Thai south in decades.

Our island is fortunate to have been spared the kind of severe flooding that has stricken much of the region in recent days and weeks – with no apparent end in sight.

Unfortunately, coverage of the inundation in the international media has been somewhat misleading.
Reports have predictably focused on the death toll, with the figure having surpassed 30 lives at the latest count.

In reality, few deaths have been the direct result of people drowning in raging floodwaters. In fact, the numbers are probably fewer those attributed to road deaths in the region during the recent holiday safety campaign.

Of course, the total amount of human misery and property loss will be far higher. It continues to grow with each passing day as floodwaters get dirtier, access to essential supplies remains cut off, and local economies remain in a virtual state of suspended animation.

Other reports, including some by major international news agencies, incorrectly stated that heavy rain was uncharacteristic to the Thai south this time of year.

The climate in the Isthmus of Kra is characterized by an annual reversal in monsoonal flow. From May to November, a westerly monsoon predominates, bringing copious amounts of rainfall to Phuket and other Andaman Coast provinces.

It is during this period that the weather on the Gulf Coast tends to be sunny and dry. During the reversal, the Gulf Coast gets hammered from the East and the Andaman Coast tends to enjoy nice, relatively dry conditions.

It is also important to keep in mind that the recent flooding stems more from bad land-use management and planning as it does from any statistical rainfall anomaly.

From large-scale effects such as global warming, all the way down to bad individual decision making, the recent flooding once again reveals that short-sighted, profit-driven processes need to be replaced with more forward looking ones to better deal with the realities that confront us. Welcome to 2017.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Visa15 hours ago

CCSA to consider extending Thailand tourist visa to 45 days

Bangkok15 hours ago

Man caught taking drugs inside a Bangkok police booth didn’t give a crap

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thailand no longer considers Covid “dangerous infectious disease” 

Sponsored24 hours ago

Enjoy a splashing time and immerse yourself in Thai Mythology in Andamanda Phuket

Crime16 hours ago

Wife says boss of Mountain B in Pattaya is ‘not a villain’

Crime16 hours ago

Policeman poses as Buddhist monk to trick drug dealers in central Thailand

Travel16 hours ago

Stress-free travel with AXA Travel Insurance

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Guides16 hours ago

Mother’s Day in Thailand 2022: 5 fun ways to pamper your mom

Thailand17 hours ago

Thai minister insists minimum wage increase is not electioneering

Bangkok17 hours ago

Swedish Embassy hailed for giving 6-month parental leave to Thai staff

Travel18 hours ago

Everything you need to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)

Environment18 hours ago

PM warns Thailand to brace itself for potential flooding

Travel19 hours ago

Watch Koh Samui’s magical sunset from these sunset bars

Thailand19 hours ago

Local hero predicts building collapse, saves countless lives in eastern Thailand

Phuket19 hours ago

9 year old boy kills a 7 year old girl with a police pistol in Phuket

Press Room20 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s sauciest tech event, Techsauce Global Summit to return to Bangkok in physical form

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11