Posted by Jen on 3 July 2007, 4:40 pm
This year the rainy season in Thailand has not been good for tourism. The Meteorological Department said that a southwest monsoon currently over the Andaman sea and the Gulf of Thailand is responsible for the large amount of rain falling in the northern provinces.
While the North is getting a lot of rain and even a little flooding, the high winds and large waves have forced many vessels ashore along the Andaman Sea coast. Tides have increased by several meters, forcing the evacuation of several beaches and damaging coastal shops and homes.
Tourists around Phuket were warned not to swim in the ocean or play near the beach.
Nine restaurants in Chat Chai Pier were smashed by powerful waves on Friday. Although no one was hurt, there was considerable damage to the restaurants’ furniture, buildings and even foundations.
Chanthira Kalmachshima, who owns Andaman Seafood, a restaurant damaged by the high waves, said, "It wasn't like a tsunami because the sea didn't recede first. They just came up like regular waves, but much larger than normal. About nine restaurants were open at the time and all were badly damaged."
Several hotels in the area experienced flooding including hotels in Phang Nga, a popular tourist destination.
In Bangkok, the Chao Phya River and several canals are at risk of flooding and residents are preparing by building sandbag barriers.