EVEN AS northern Thailand and Myanmar continue to feel the impact of tropical storm Sinlaku which has downgraded into a low-pressure cell in the south the strong southwesterly monsoon battered a two-kilometre stretch of Khao Lak tourist coastal strip in Phang Nga province with seven-metre-high waves slamming in and flooding resorts and restaurants, INN News reported this evening (August 4, 2020).
Reporters who went to Khuekkhak sub-district, Takua Pa district, said that Shambhala Khaolak Resort and Ayara Villas had both been inundated. At the former these powerful waves were hitting the front door near the swimming pool while cracks were visible on the floor, part of which had subsided. However no one is there at the moment.
At Ayara Villas, which is next to Bang Niang beach, the strong waves had washed into the bungalows.
These huge waves continuously slammed the storm barrier and although hoteliers and restaurateurs had put up green construction sheets to protect their property, they tore and washed them away.
Not only were a lot of furniture and fittings in restaurants and bungalows damaged by the seawater, freshwater ponds too got inundated and the water no longer potable.
Mr. Uthai Kreendej, 59, owner of Thap Thong guesthouse restaurant said currently the high tide is at 10 a.m. and during this period the waves are very powerful and probably seven metres high. He could see that they reached the top of the coconut trees.
He added that this is the heaviest battering in years with seawater having flooded both his restaurant and reaching the top stair of his bungalows which are protected by a road in front. In previous years the waves hit the road and not his property and this was the strongest storm he has seen in years.
However, Khao Lak was the coastal area hardest hit by the tsunami resulting from the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Many people died including many foreign tourists and most of the coastal landscape, such as beaches, resorts and vegetation, was destroyed by the tsunami.
Khuekkhak sub-district in Khao Lak battered by huge waves, reaching as high as seven metres. Photos: INN News