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Big cleanup as Phuket returning to normal

Big cleanup as Phuket returning to normal

Cleanup and relief operations were in full swing on Monday after the flooding that caused chaos on this southern island resort province on Sunday drained off and life began returning to normal.

The floods caused widepread damage and disruption, but no injuries or deaths were reported.

Governor Narong Woonciew called a meeting on Sunday night to tally the damages and plan the cleanup. Those in attendance included V/Adm Apakorn Yukongkaew, the 3rd Naval Area commander.

Udonporn Kan, chief of the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, reported that the entire island was pounded by heavy rain on Sunday, starting about 3am. The accumulating rainwater and runoff  flooded all main roads and residential areas in Muang, Kathu and Thalang districts, affecting 6,080 people in 80 villages and communities.  

Five roads and three bridges were damaged and electricity and waterworks systems disrupted by landslides, affecting 29 communities with 2,800 people in Thalang district; 11 communities with 280 people in Kathu district; and 40 communities with 3,000 people in Muang district.

Local administrations in affected areas had mobilised work crews  and resources to provide assistance to flood-hit people. Water pumps were installed to drain flooded roads and residential areas.

A command centre for relief operations was set up at the disaster prevention and mitigation office on the third floor of the city hall.

The representative of the irrigation office reported that there were landslides at six spots around the Bang Niew Dam reservoir, obstructing traffic. Work was underway to clear the road on Monday.

The Phuket provincial administration organisation provided three backhoes, three water pumps, a JCB backhoe loader, four trucks and 20 workers to help clear roads covered with earth from the landslides.

The PAO also set up a large kitchen at its community hall and four flood shelters – at Wat Thep Kasattri temple, the multipurpose building of Kamala TAO, Tessaban 2 School at Ban Kathu and Tessaban Phibunsawat School.

The Provincial Electricity Authority’s representative said nine power poles fell in tambon Kamala of Kathu district, causing a power blackout for about 6,000 households. Power supply resumed about 9pm. The nine power poles would be reinstalled in five days.

At the meeting, Mr Narong instructed agency staff to gather at the Phuket Municipality office at 9am on Monday for a big cleaning operation.

He advised people to stay tuned for weather reports, believing that rain storms would continue until Oct 22.

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