Marine Dept suspends Chalathat-Samila beach sandbank project 

The Marine Department has suspended the 269-million-baht project to build a sandbank on the Chalathat-Samila beach in the Songkhla Municipality to prevent coastal erosion.

The department decided to suspend the multi-million baht project after finding that the sand has been washed back into the sea by strong waves as a result of the northeast monsoon.

The suspension halted the work of a number of machines, including sand suckers, along the 9-kilometre stretch of Chalathat-Samila beach.

The northeast monsoon now covering the Gulf of Thailand, the South Region and the Andaman Sea, has caused strong waves, about 2-4 metres high, to have washed the sand back into the sea in the past week.  This also happened before on Nov 4.

During the past 10 years, concerned authorities including the provincial administration, the Public Works Department and the Songkhla Municipality have carried out several projects with at least 100 million baht to improve Chalathat-Samila beach and prevent coastal erosion, but they have not been successful.

The meteorological centre for the South’s eastern coast on Thursday (Dec 21) issued a warning about strong waves, 2-4 metres high, in the Gulf of Thailand.

People living along the coastline have been warned about strong winds and inshore surges.

The centre warns all vessels to proceed with caution. Small boats are advised to stay ashore until Dec 23.