Phuket

Phuket News: Sinkholes threaten Krabi rubber plantation

PHUKET: Sinkholes have hit a rubber plantation in Muang District Krabi, east of Phuket. Officials there are urging the landowner to fill them as soon as possible before they enlarge.

The sinkholes were first reported to the Mineral Resources Department Region 4 Office in Surat Thani on February 7.

On the afternoon of February 10, office director Tawatchai Thepsuwan and geologist Katesanee Supchockanan inspected the site, on property owned by 27-year-old rubber planter Anusak Wansuk in Khao Kram subdistrict.

An inspection through a surface fissure just 1.2 meters long revealed the presence of a large cavity five meters wide and six meters deep beneath the surface.

Mr Tawatchai said sinkholes form when groundwater dissolves carbonate rocks like the limestone below the surface at the site.

“Sometimes when there are heavy objects on the surface, such as a passing car, the remaining surface layer cannot take the stress and collapses,” he said.

“The soil that once filled the cavity between the two layers has washed away and should be replaced as soon as possible,” he said.

“If we don’t do anything about it, the ground around here will collapse further. Fortunately this is not residential area,” he said.

“I recommended that he fill the hole with soil or rock as soon as possible to prevent further erosion. If necessary he can call on the Khao Kram Tambon Administration Organization for help,” Mr Tawatchai said.

— Warisa Temram

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