Samui officials vow flood contingency plans

2 May 2011

Following devastating floods in late March, Samui council officials have pledged to implement plans to deal with any similar catastrophes. Mayor Ramnate Jaikwang said that unrestricted development had seen natural gullies and sluices removed, which meant that floodwaters could no longer flow easily into the sea.           

The mayor continued by saying that the council would force resort developers to put in proper drainage systems. There would also be measures to ensure that land, especially on hills, would not be deforested. 

Local tycoon Dr Prasert Prasarttong Osoth, owner of regional airline Bangkok Airways and also the island’s Bangkok Hospital, backed the mayor’s calls for a sea change in development in Thailand’s tropical paradise. He said that Samui needed to be able to handle unseasonable bad weather and natural disaster responses.

He added that emergency services needed to run practice exercises for worst-case scenario incidents at least on a yearly basis. The doctor finished by saying that in an emergency his hospital and airline’s facilities would be available free of charge for the comfort of distressed tourists.  

In March, one metre of rain fell in three days which caused extensive flashfloods and flooding that submerged the ground floors of many resorts, hotels and shops around Samui. An operation organised by tourist and council officials on 24 April saw roads and beaches cleared of flood detritus, but visitor numbers are around 40 per cent down compared with 2010. 

Tags: Samui flood plans

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