Friday 9 November 2007

Todays' papers

The reports about Samui in 'The Nation' and 'The Bangkok Post';

Crisis may end if no more rain: governor
Tourist resort racked by two days of heavy downpours
Published on November 9, 2007

The flood crisis on Koh Samui lessened yesterday evening, according to the latest update from Surat Thani Governor Winai Buapradit.

"If there is no more rain, the situation might return to normal tomorrow [Friday]," Winai said.
Residents and tourists in Koh Samui district have been battling heavy floods for the past two days.

Several flights between Bangkok and Koh Samui were delayed or cancelled on Wednesday and yesterday, as flooding and heavy downpours wreaked havoc on the island.
An official at Bangkok Airways' headquarters said the flight schedule was disrupted because the airline gave priority to passenger safety.
"Takeoffs and landings can take place only when the weather conditions are deemed safe," the official said.
Some parts of the runway at Samui Airport were reported to be flooded.

Koh Samui district chief Adisorn Kamnerdsiri declared the island a disaster zone yesterday due to the scale of flooding. "I have instructed Tambon Samui Municipality to release floodwater into the sea as quickly as possible. If any construction is obstructing the water flow, it can be removed to minimise the impact on people," Adisorn said.

Volunteers were fanning out to help residents move belongings to higher ground, he said.
"No casualty has been reported. We are surveying the damage now," Adisorn said.
Koh Samui municipality mayor Warakorn Rattanarak said Taweeratpakdee Road was partially flooded. "The water is up to one metre deep at some spots and we closed certain portions of the road."

He said rescue workers and officials had to reach flood victims by boat because the main roads were impassable.
Fast rising floodwater had vendors at Dao Market scrambling to move their wares to higher ground. The Koh Samui District Office, Koh Samui police station, local hotels and golf courses were also inundated.

The flooding damaged eight water pumps from the Irrigation Department.
Koh Samui highways chief Parinya Veerajit sent a backhoe to remove a section of road to let water flow out of the town.

Koh Samui Tourism Asso-ciation chairman Senee Puwa-setthavorn described the situation as a crisis. "The damage is beyond estimation," he said.

Senee said national-level agencies should step in to help, otherwise the problem would hurt tourism on the island.

Surat Thani provincial councillor Ramnet Jaikwang, who represents Koh Samui district, said the flooding problem arose because many people had selfishly built buildings that obstructed water flow.

The Meteorological Bureau yesterday warned of possible flash floods in Surat Thani, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, Phu-ket and Krabi.
"A low-pressure ridge is hovering over the lower South and will send frequent rain or heavy downpours to the region," it said.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat, floods have already affected 31,769 people in Phra Phrome, Sichon, Ron Phibun, Khanom, Muang Nakhon Si Tham-marat, Nopphitam and Cha-lerm Phrakiat districts.

"Fishermen have refrained from going out to the sea for three or four days already due to the rough weather," said Rayuth Thanawattana, kamnan of Tambon Laem Talumpuk.

The Nation

Samui declared disaster zone after heavy rain

( - Samui island is declared disaster zone on Thursday after it was hit by heavy rain the night before.

The rain caused flood in several locations. Water level on the main road is at 30 centimetre high.
Hundreds of tourists are left stranded as weather condition prevented aircrafts from taking off since late Wednesday.

Authorities are trying to pump water into river to alleviate the problem and prevent further flooding if rain comes again.

Surat Thani provincial office sent 170 soldiers into the island to assist locals and tourists.

Bangkok Post

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