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Phuket storms prompt warning for boat operators to put tourists’ safety before profits

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PHUKET: Small boat and landslide warnings have been issued from today through Thursday due to high waves and heavy rains caused by the annual southwesterly monsoon weather.

San Jantharawong, chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Phuket office, said the anticipated poor conditions should prompt boat operators to put the safety of tourists before their businesses.

Beach-goers were warned not to swim at Kata or Karon beaches and to obey the warning flags posted on other beaches. Photo: Isaac Stone Simonelli

“Wave heights are expected to reach three meters with winds of 20-40kmh. I would like to pass my concern on to small boat operators, especially tour boats that carry tourists,” said Mr San.

“Boat operators must be very cautious and regularly check the weather reports.

In addition, flash flood and landslide warnings were issued to every local administration office in Phuket.

“As a precaution, we sent out flood and landslide warnings yesterday as soon as we received the warnings from Bangkok,” said Mr San.

Kata-Karon chief lifeguard Uten Singsom has also urged beachgoers not to swim at Kata or Karon beaches and to obey the warning flags posted on other beaches.

“We are making sure that red flags are clearly visible on the beaches in poor weather. Please do not swim in Kata or Karon as you could be risking your life,” said Mr Uten.

Conditions are expected to improve slightly after Thursday.

To see the full weather forecast from the Thai Meteorological Department, click here.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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