Pattaya Daily News

14 October 2010 :: 14:10:55 pm 43958

Deadly Koh Chang Landslides Prompt Development Warnings

The Thai government is warning developers undertaking projects in high-risk mudslide areas to proceed with great caution following a release that Koh Chang’s recent fatal mudslides may have been a direct result of constructions in the area.
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Koh Chang, the 13th of October 2010: The warning from Thailand’s Department of Mineral Resources, followed mudslides on Monday which had caused the death of one Cambodian woman and the injury of her husband on Koh Chang in Thailand’s eastern province of Trat.

Landslides on the popular tourist island have reportedly blocked several large sections of the main coast road, causing significant delays and frustrations for tourist and locals. In addition, the island has largely been without power for more than three days in some areas, with mudslides toppling several high voltage power lines.

According to Chief of the Environmental Geology Division of the Department of Mineral Resources, Mr. Adichart Surinkam, Koh Chang’s unique environment and several construction projects in the area of Monday’s slides contributed greatly to the magnitude of the disaster.

The mudslide at Little Chang resort at Had Sai Khao, which killed one woman and injured another man was currently undergoing an expansion construction, which apparently reduced the surrounding areas ability to absorb excess moisture, creating the devastating slide.

The Department of Mineral Resources on Wednesday issued a warning to all lower central provinces, including Kanchanburi, Ratchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Trat, Chantaburi and Rayong about the possibility of landslides due to severe inclement weather expected to hit the region.

As of Wednesday afternoon, officials and rescue workers had officially clear one lane of the main coast road, while contractors were working round the clock to restore power to the island after approximately 20 high-voltage lines were brought down in the devastation.

Most tourists were seen leaving the island. Local police and hotels arranged minibuses to take them to a pier where they could arrange a shuttle boat to the mainland. The tambon Koh Chang municipality yesterday declared landslide-hit Little Chang resort and nearby areas risk zones.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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