Government Says Phuket Could Face More Flooding This Week

Officials have warned that Phuket could face more heavy rain and possible flooding in the next five days as residents of the resort island recover from Sunday’s chaos.

While water levels dropped in most areas of Phuket that were dry again after Sunday’s floods, Deputy Governor Pichet Panapong asked people living on the island not to let their guard down as there may be more flooding in the next five days.

The deputy governor’s warning came after experts forecast rain to continue in the region through Friday as Tropical Storm Nesar approaches Southeast Asia and is about to make landfall in Vietnam.

On Monday, the Meteorology Department said heavy rain was expected in the southern region, with rainfall churning up lakes along the Andaman coast through Friday.

Mr. Pichet asked people to stay vigilant until the alert period announced by the Meteorological Department passes.

The deputy governor’s comments came after work teams and volunteers were mobilized across Phuket on Monday to clean up and repair the damage caused by the floods.

On Sunday morning, torrential rains left downtown or other areas flooded. Several roads were closed due to landslides.

According to the Water Management Department, the heaviest downpour in the country was recorded in the Thalang district that night, as 204mm of rain fell, accounting for almost three times the 88mm average in Phuket.

At a press conference on Monday, the provincial irrigation office’s chief, Thammanoon Bumrungpetch, said: “I’ve never seen the rain like that in all my life. The heavy flooding was due to the heavy.”

Mr. Thammanoon also said he was concerned about the potential rain in Phuket as the tropical storm approaches, as all reservoirs are at full capacity.

There are three reservoirs on the island providing running water: Bang Wad, Bang Niew Dum, and Klong Katha.

However, the irrigation bureau is unable to release water as all three reservoirs must remain full to ensure Phuket has enough tap water during the dry season, which often comes in November.

The provincial irrigation chief said authorities did not want to repeat the situation in 2019 and 2020 when people had to save tap water because the three reservoirs were at risk of drying up.