High waves close Tarutao dive spots
By Post Reporters

Provincial officials have closed tourism spots on the Andaman Sea in Satun province, as a strong southwestern monsoon poses a danger to boats heading to tourist islands.
Sea waves as high as three metres have forced tourist ships and fishing boats to stay ashore. To ensure safety for tourists, officials decided to close marine tourism ahead of the schedule normally set in late May, said Tarutao marine national park chief Narubet Chumtong.

The marine national park is famous for its diving sites. The closure, lasting for six months, would be long enough to allow natural resources on the island to recover from tourism's ill-effects, he said.

Other marine national parks- Mu Ko Surin and Mu Ko Similan in Phangnga, and Mu Ko Lanta in Krabi province - will also close from May 16 until Nov 1, said the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The department will stop tourist access to the scenic mountain of Phugradung national park in Loei during the rainy season from June 1 to Sept 30.

The southwestern monsoon continued to cause heavy rainfall across the country yesterday. In Rayong, many houses in Ban Map Yangporn and more than 100 rai of farmland in Pluak Daeng district were ravaged by flash floods, officials said.

Water run-off from the North has washed clay into the Chao Phraya river, turning its colour red. Fishermen in Chai Nat's Manorom district said their fish, raised in pens along the river, had begun to die as a result.