PHUKET: Persistent rain, flooding, mudslides and blackouts continued to plague this southern tourist island on Wednesday.
Provincial authorities declared Kathu, Muang and Thalang districts disaster zones to facilitate the provision of assistance.
Tambon Kamala in Kathu district was hit by mudslides which toppled power poles. Electricity officials hoped they could restore power on Wednesday evening. There was also a mudslide at the Bang Thong monastery in tambon Kathu.
Outside Kathu district, there was flooding in tambon Sri Sunthorn and tambon Choeng Thale of Thalang district. Thepkasattri Road near Phuket airport was under water and there was a mudslide on the Ban Phak Cheet-Ban Liporn Road in tambon Pa Khlok.
In tambon Sri Sunthorn, strongly flowing flood water destroyed a bridge. A temporary bridge was erected pending rebuilding.
In Muang district, floods caused concern in the business area of Phuket municipality. The Khlong Bang Yai Canal was overflowing onto Montree and Phuket roads. There was also a mudslide on Ao Yon-Khao Khat Road in tambon Wichit.
Persistent rain and flooding were expected to continue in Phuket until Thursday or Friday due to the influence of Storm Nesat in the South China Sea and a high-pressure system from China, Udomporn Kan, disaster prevention and mitigation chief of Phuket, said.
"Pumps can only freeze flood levels amid such persistent rain... Normally rainfall is less than 100 millimetres a day, but now it exceeds 100mm each day," Mr Udomporn said.
"At this time, travellers heading for Phuket airport must leave early to get there on time because roads to the airport are flooded and traffic is slow," he said.
The water in three local reservoirs was above planned capacity - Bang Wad, Khlong Bang Niao and Khlong Katha - Mr Udomporn said.
Rewat Areerop, president of the Phuket provincial administrative organisation, estimated damage from floods in Phuket at hundreds of millions of baht and said the government should compensate local people for the disaster. Flooding in the southern island province started on Sunday.
"The government must give financial assistance... Phuket people have just recovered from Covid-19 and are now facing the impact of flooding. There is great damage to the Phuket economy and Phuket people need help," Mr Rewat said.