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Andaman Today

No one could have expected that the Andaman coast of Thailand would suffer such a horrific natural disaster at the end of last year. The aftermath of the Tsunami left the coast and its people with devastation and damage to their lives and properties, including in major tourist spots like Phuket’s Patong Beach, Phi Phi Island in Krabi province, and the popular beach resort Khao Lak in Amphoe Takua Pa, Phang Nga province. Also, many coast-side communities; fishing villages inside Phang Nga and Ranong; were severely damaged.

Only a few days after the tsunami hit, the Governor of the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) immediately ordered a TAT team to search the coral reefs of Thailand to gage the level of damage that occurred. There were teams that examined the shores as well as teams working under water to see how damaged the reefs were. We discovered that, besides the obvious damage to the coastline, in the depths of the beautiful Andaman sea, dubbed "a scuba diver’s paradise," some damage occurred to the parts of the reefs as well, namely the reef in the shallows of the Surin Islands, where two factors contributed to its damage:
The first factor is the violent force of the tsunami waves which caused the corals to capsize and break. The tabulate corals like Disc coral or Table coral, which are better at withstanding water, are flipped over and broken by the immensely powerful waves. The second factor is the sea sand that was thrust to shore, burying the coastline and preventing the corals from getting food or sunlight, making the seaweed and algae on the corals unable to photosynthesize and produce food. In the end, the corals will die. The majority of the damage is located in

Chongkaad Bay, a channel between North and South Surin Island. One positive thing is that most of the reefs in the other bays of the Surin Islands are still beautiful and untouched.
In the Similan Islands, ranked as one of the top diving spots in the world, our search teams examined many diving areas and it is very fortunate that most of the areas are still breathtaking and untainted from the tsunami. There is some damage to the diving spot at Jet island (Ko Jet) or Elephant Head Rock; some of the hard coral and sea fans were struck and cracked by the waves. Some hard coral was shattered at Keuk bay on Pat Island (Ko Pat), as well as on the hard coral reefs on the eastern side of the island, though the damage was not as severe. When compared with the twenty or more vast and beautiful reefs and diving spots remaining, the Similan Islands is still a gorgeous paradise for divers as always.

As for the diving spots on Phi Phi Island, there are reports that there were two seriously damaged areas: the west side of Ton Sai Bay and around Pai Island. These were locations of reefs for shallow diving, like snorkeling, and these points were so damaged that the National Park had to close them down. Other deep-sea diving spots around Phi Phi Island like Maya Bay, Nui Bay, Bida point, Shark point, and the site of the King’s Cruiser shipwreck, were unharmed and are still as stunning as ever.

By the time this edition of the Osotho magazine hits the shelves, the searches, location-markings, and procedure-makings for all of the diving spots will probably be done and diving can resume. Hopefully divers and the readers of this column, "Under the Sea," will feel more relaxed about the incident and go back to appreciating the underwater world or perhaps, visit it and see our coral friends and admire the magnificence of the Andaman sea. However much you loved the water before, I wish you love it just as much or more now. Let us come together to nurture, protect, and love the sea so that it will stay with us forever and ever.

Caption1. Corals of multiple colours near an orchid house of Hok Island or Ko Hok, Similan Islands (or Mu Ko Similan) National Park - still beautiful and untouched
2. A school of Bluestripe snappers around Elephant Head Rock, Similan Islands
3. A school of assorted snappers around Richelieu Rock
4. A bigger school of Bluestripe snappers


We must help to save the coral reefs and Good nature as long time.

Woww!! Nice picture,specially picture of fish.^^

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