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Taking off

March 31, 2011

The weather in Koh Samui has started to clear. The rainfall has stopped, and most areas are already flood free and electricity has also returned in most hotels.

Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways International have resumed most of their regular services to Koh Samui as the stormy weather starts to clear. Airlines expect to clear any stranded passengers within the day.

A lack of information was the overwhelming complaint among stranded tourists. Michael Hancock, Bangkok’s British Embassy Consul who arrived on the island on Wednesday night, said they were trying to improve communication between the airport and passengers.

“The (display) screens are not working and airline staff are only holding up signs written in Biro,” he said. “They need a thick marker pen for a start.”

The British Embassy had set up a colourful stand inside the airport strewn in Union Jack flags and manned by six staff from Bangkok. Most people stopping by were only seeking advice or reassurances but Hancock said they had managed to find seats for a few desperate passengers, one with septic mosquito bites who needed hospital treatment and one family with a severely-handicapped son running out of medication.

As he explained the situation, a cheer went up in the terminal at the rumbling sound of an aircraft taking off. “I’ve not seen any signs of anger,” Hancock said cheerfully. “People are being very patient and understanding – and are resigned to wait.”

Although there was severe flooding in Koh Samui as recently as November last year, wet weather in March and April is highly unseasonal.

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