Samui, Phangan still without power
- Published: 5/12/2012 at 01:49 PM
- Online news:
Thousands of homes and businesses on Samui and Phangan islands in Surat Thani province were still without electricity for the second day on Wednesday after an underwater power cable ruptured on Tuesday. Tourists were rushing to leave the islands.
Normally the holiday season Samui island, one of Thailand's major tourist destinations, would have about 20,000 tourists. That number had shrunk to about one thousand, reports said.
Power was still sporadically available on parts of the islands, but hotels and resorts were having to rely on their own generators, or candles. The wireless telecommunication network had also been knocked out.
The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) in Koh Samui district explained that the outage was caused by a rupture to the submarine power cable connecting a substation on Samui island with the mainland.
The reserve power supply was only able to distribute electricity to one fifth of the islands' area at a time, on a two hour rotation, the PEA said.
Wanni Thaipanich, chairwoman of the association of tourism promotion for Koh Phangan, said smaller hotels were suffering as guests cancelled out and moved to larger establishments with their own power generators.
Provincial governor Chatpong Chatphuti said that engineers were being flown in to address the problem and it was expected that the power would be on again by 11pm of Wednesday. Mobile generators had also been dispatched to major hospitals on the islands.
PTT had been asked to urgently transport fuel to both islands as there was now a fuel shortage and people were hoarding supplies. Many hotels were running out of fuel for their generators.
Samui and Phangan have a combined daily power consumption of about 90 megawatts.
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