Sirawat Kriangkrai from the Department of Public Health and Environment’s Sanitation Division at Patong Municipality, told The Phuket News that the huge cleanup operation yesterday took officers from 5am to midday to remove the brown seaweed, which blighted about one kilomtere of Patong Beach – starting some 500 metres north of the where the Pak Bang Canal empties into Patong Bay at the southern end of the beach.
Working as quickly as possible, including by using a backhoe, workers removed some 10 tonnes of seaweed along with the sand and water around it, Mr Sirawat explained.
“We needed more people and equipment to remove the seaweed as fast as possible,” he said.
“We took the seaweed to the Patong Watewater Treatment Plant where it will be dried and used as natural fertiliser for public plants,” Mr Siriwat added.
Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsub inspected the cleanup operation yesterday at about 8:30am.
“I asked for volunteers and for beach vendors to help remove the seaweed together in order to make Patong Beach clean and beautiful as fast as possible,” Mayor Chalermlak said.
Mayor Chalermluck pointed out that the seaweed washes up on Patong Beach every year.
“But this year the amount of seaweed was much more than in years past,” she said.
Asked what caused the bloom in seaweed that resulted in it being washed up on the beach, she declined to answer.
“It is not harmful to people. I have already ordered officers and backhoe loaders to remove the seaweed from the beach,” Mayor Chalermluck said.
“The seaweed might come from the rocks underwater. It is a natural incident that happens every year,” she said.