Phuket governor washes up Kamala after torrential rain (video)

Image: DDPM/Facebook

Phuket Governor Sophon Suwannarat spearheaded a substantial cleanup operation in Kamala following heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across Phuket. The downpours yesterday, June 30, led to traffic disruptions, flight delays, and inundated neighbourhoods.

Joining the Governor in Kamala were Phuket Vice Governor Sattha Thongkham, Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Office Suwit Suriyawong, Phuket Provincial Police Commander, Police Major General Sinlert Sukhum, and Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Center Director Kas Sentoyeap.

Kathu District Chief Theeraphong Chuaychu provided updates on the flood situation, highlighting the severe impact on Kamala, where homes were inundated with garbage and mud. Although conditions in Kamala have improved, many areas in Thalang district, including Tambon Thepkasattri, remain flooded.

Theeraphong mentioned that teams have deployed water pumps to expedite the drainage process. Despite the challenges, Governor Sophon assured residents that progress is being made.

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“The water levels are decreasing, and we expect Baan Don and Thepkasattri areas to see significant improvement soon.”

Efforts are ongoing to support approximately 50 residents sheltering at Wat Thepkrasattri School with food, survival equipment, and safety measures. The governor noted that these residents are anticipated to return home today to begin cleaning their properties.

Back to normal

Phuket Airport resumed normal operations after flight diversions and flooding affected main access roads. Government agencies are actively working to provide relief across affected areas, with Governor Sophon expressing gratitude to local community groups for their swift assistance.

Local administrative organisations have been tasked with surveying the damage and facilitating the relief process in compliance with regulations and laws. The most heavily affected areas, including Kamala, Kathu, and Thepkasattri, will receive special attention.

Plans include installing water pumps in high-risk areas to mitigate flooding. A disaster area declaration is expected for six to seven subdistricts in Kathu and Thalang districts, allowing officers to provide necessary assistance.

The DDPM Phuket reported that at least 740 households, comprising 1,468 people, were directly affected by the flash floods. The flooding impacted 41 villages and four communities across Kathu and Thalang districts.

In Kathu district, 50 households and 45 individuals were affected. In Kamala, six village areas and four communities were hit. In Thalang district, 690 households and 1,423 individuals across five subdistricts experienced flooding, affecting multiple village areas. DDPM Phuket provided updates on flooded areas.

“While the rain has stopped, floodwaters remain in some low-lying areas, and it is expected to take approximately 24 hours for conditions to return to normal. Major roads, including Highway 402, are now passable, and air transport has resumed normal operations.”

Damage surveys pending

Local government organisations, the DDPM District 18 office, DDPM Phuket, and related agencies provided initial assistance, with surveys for additional damages ongoing. Evacuations took place in Thepkrasattri, with 20 people taking refuge at Pakrong Cheep School and another 100 people at Wat Thepkrasattri, said DDPM.

“The Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Directorate urges all units and the public to remain vigilant and closely monitor the situation, especially in areas prone to repeated flooding. Precautions should be taken to lift belongings to higher ground for safety, as continued rain may lead to further flash floods.”

Governor Sophon, along with other officials, distributed essential items to flood victims at Wat Thepkrasattri School. The relief packages included bedding, hygiene kits, clothing, and blankets, providing much-needed support.

Vice Admiral Suchat Thammapitakwet ordered an urgent mobilisation of personnel from the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) Third Area Command to assist affected residents. The areas covered included Kamala, Cherng Talay, Srisoonthorn, Thepkasattri, Koh Kaew, and Mai Khao.

In Koh Kaew, the DDPM Phuket, RTN personnel, Phuket City Municipality, Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation, and Koh Kaew Tambon Administrative Organisation deployed five water trucks to clean mud-covered streets.

In Patong, Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri oversaw operations to clear debris from Pak Bang Canal to facilitate runoff to the sea. Residents were urged to contact Patong Municipality for assistance and to be cautious of further flooding due to potential heavy downpours.

Mayor Chalermsak also directed lifeguards to monitor Patong Beach and instruct tourists to avoid swimming in areas with strong waves and rip currents, marked with red ‘no swimming’ flags, reported Phuket News.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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