Pattaya digs out from Vamco as 5 provinces declared disasters

Pattaya digs out from Vamco as 5 provinces declared disasters

Palm trees were uprooted along Pattaya beach by tropical depression Vamco. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Palm trees were uprooted along Pattaya beach by tropical depression Vamco. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Pattaya residents are removing fallen trees, digging out mud and filling more sandbags after tropical depression Vamco lashed Chon Buri and four other provinces which have been declared disaster zones by the government.

The Interior Ministry said 14 tambons in eight districts in Chanthaburi, Chon Buri. Si Sa Ket, Surin and Tak have been inundated since Sunday with the heaviest rain and damage coming Wednesday.

Earlier in Pattaya: Tourists stranded as boats stay ashore

Minister Anupong Paojinda said the ministry would deploy officials to assist people in flooded areas with transportation and relocation of belongings to high ground.

In Chon Buri, Pattaya City took the brunt of the damage, its much-maligned drainage system completely overrun by hours of rain.

The storm gouged huge rents in Pattaya beach. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Citywide flooding reached 30 centimetres after just 45 minutes. Wednesday's deluge continued all day and into the night, leaving most parts of Bang Lamung District under a metre or more of water.

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department director-general Chatchai Promlert said flooding persisted in parts of Chon Buri Thursday morning, with local officials scrambling to pump out the runoff as residents took to digging.

Eastern parts of Bang Lamung district remained flooded Thursday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Social media was inundated with photos and videos of the damage, from uprooted palm trees on Pattaya beach to huge chunks of sand washed out to sea by floodwaters that raced downhill from the eastern part of tambon Nong Prue to Pattaya's Beach Road, which was navigable only by boat as night fell.

On Sukhumvit Road, the under-construction Pattaya Central Road bypass tunnel - which officials assured would not flood once complete - was turned into a huge swimming pool, likely adding a delay to a project already expected to last three years.

The Bangkok-Chon Buri motorway going past Pattaya was also flooded between kilometres 98 and 116. It was the second time this week the motorway has been flooded.

Downtown, large potholes opened on Second Road, the city's main thoroughfare, which had been resurfaced earlier this year.

Rain began to fall again this afternoon with the storm still whipping up huge swells that crashed on Pattaya Beach, which was gouged out by roaring rapids of water streaming down side streets connected to Beach Road. Trenches a metre deep and 10 metres wide scarred the shoreline, with sandbags and trash lying where lounge chairs usually sit.

Walking Street was free of flooding in Pattaya Thursday morning. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Pattaya is spending 192 million baht on the installatiojn of three new main drainage tunnels to funnel water far offshore to spare the beach repeated damage. The project, however, is far behind schedule and now not expected to be completed until December, after the rainy season has ended.

More coastal damage

In Rayong province Thursday morning, heavy rain caused a dyke at Klong Bang Phai reservoir to burst, resulting in a flood of 50-100cm in Yai Ra village of tambon Samnakthon in Ban Chang district.

Vamco also flooded two districts in Trang province as runoff from Banthad mountain inundated about 70 homes in Na Yong and Muang districts, with floodwater of up to 50 centimetres. Several local roads and about 500 rai of farmland also were flooded.

Rough seas are creating large breakers on Pattaya beach. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The province issued an announcement for people to monitor runoff from the forest over the next several days.

More rain to come

The latest report from the Meteorological Department at 10am Thursday indicated that Vamco had lost steam and was downgraded to a low-pressure cell. But its remnants, coupled with the monsoon over the Andaman Sea, the South and the Gulf of Thailand will continue to bring heavy rain to some areas.

People in 16 provinces are warned to beware of flooding: Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Bangkok and surrounding provinces, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Trang, Krabi and Satun.

A Pattaya shop owner cleans up after flooding from Vamco. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

A Pattaya shop owner cleans up after flooding from Vamco. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Cleanup work was the order of the day at this Pattaya school. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Men take sand from the already damage Pattaya beach to fill new sandbags. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

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