Phuket officials deny “mudslide in paradise’

PHUKET: Authorities have dismissed media reports that an “immediate evacuation” was called for Phuket earlier today due to the risk of landslides.

Officials at both the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) in Bangkok and the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation office in Phuket (DDPM-Phuket) said reports of an evacuation order for Phuket carried on Thai television news programs and radio broadcasts had no basis in fact.

DDPM-Phuket chief San Jantharawong said the Department of Mineral Resources earlier in the week issued a warning about the possibility of mudslides due to water-logging of exposed soil, but said neither the DDPM or NDWC had issued an evacuation order for any part of Phuket.

Similar rumors had circulated in parts of other southern provinces, including Surat Thani and Nakhon Sri Thammarat, he said.

Some parts of the south received up to 1,000mm of rain over the past five days, he said.

Phuket typically gets under 100mm of rain for the entire month of March.

However, residents in hillside areas are advised to beware of landslides and possible flash-floods.

High-risk areas included Baan Kanaen, Baan Plujampa, Baan Don and Baan Muang Mai, all located in Thalang, he said.

The Meteorological Department report issued at 1pm today read that the low pressure cell responsible for all the recent rainfall is still active and west coast provinces including Phuket were still at risk of heavy or even torrential downpours tonight.

Wind-waves about two meters high remain in the Andaman Sea. All ships should proceed with caution and small boats keep ashore during this period.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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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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