Kata Noi

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The beach and the bay at Kata Noi (December 2003).

Kata Noi is a beach on the southwestern side of the island of Phuket in Thailand. It prolongs the Kata Beach to the south.

The beach is bordered to the north by the Mon Tri's Villa Royale resort, and most of the beachfront is occupied by the resort of Kata Thani.

2004 earthquake and tsunami[edit]

Maximum recession of tsunami waters at Kata Noi, before the 3rd, and strongest, tsunami wave (sea visible in the right corner, the beach is at the extreme left), 10:25 AM local time.
Approximate maximum rise of tsunami waters at Kata Noi (3rd tsunami wave), 11:00 AM local time.
Regular sea level at Kata Noi beach, a few days after the tsunami.

On December 26, 2004, the area felt a mild earthquake around 07:59 local time, which later turned out to be the repercussion of the massive 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake occurring at that time near Sumatra. Few people actually felt the earthquake, and no alarm was given, apart for casual radio broadcasts on the local Thai radio.

First tsunami[edit]

Around 09:30 AM, as about 20 people were playing on the beach or bathing, the sea started to retreat by about 100 meters within the space of about 5 minutes. A few people who were bathing, seeing the water retreating around them were left standing, puzzled. Asked about the phenomenon, Thai vendors on the beach were as puzzled as tourists, having never seen such a thing.

As the sea was staying at a very low level, quite far from the beach, people started to see that some fish had been left stranded in some pools of water, and started to play with the fish for possibly 5 to 10 minutes. Suddenly, without a warning and any visible sign of an approaching danger, the sea started to rise again, inducing everyone to run to the higher part of the beach. The water continued to rise swiftly, although not as fast as the people running. Eventually the sea drowned the totality of the beach, until it stopped almost exactly at the top of the one meter cement wall lining the beach. People, who were in the sea up to the waist, were able to climb over the small wall into the safety of the gardens of the Kata Thani resort, although they often left their belonging on the beach chairs in haste.

The sea stayed at its high level for possibly 10 to 15 minutes. Some tourists actually went back in the high water to fetch their floating belongings. The sea started to retreat again slowly, dragging parasols, beach chairs etc... with the receding water.

Retreat-and-rise cycle[edit]

The retreat-and-rise cycle was repeated several times that day, a full cycle taking between 30 to 45 minutes between each peak.

The third wave was the largest. It overran the small wall lining the beach, flowed into the gardens of the Kata Thani hotel and almost instantly smashed into and destroyed the front rooms of the hotel, also inundating the central restaurant. The area at the southern end of the beach was most badly hit, and the beach restaurant was swept out to sea.

Casualties[edit]

There were some injuries, but no fatalities at Kata Noi on the occasion of the tsunami. The waters receded and rose rather swiftly, but, owing to the steepness of the beach, remained contained and did not generate rushing breaking waves as on flatter beaches such as Patong Beach or Khao Lak.

Luckily, nobody died in this area and it was fortunate that it was on higher ground and that there were only 20 people on the beach.

This past year one could see that Kata Noi beaches returned to their natural beauty.

Climate[edit]

The island of Phuket has a tropical monsoon climate with a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. Average temperatures are consistent year-round. Average highs range from 29 °C (84 °F) to 33 °C (91 °F); average lows range from 23 °C (73 °F) to 26 °C (79 °F).


Climate data for Phuket (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.5
(95.9)
36.2
(97.2)
37.5
(99.5)
36.8
(98.2)
36.0
(96.8)
35.0
(95)
34.0
(93.2)
34.5
(94.1)
33.3
(91.9)
33.9
(93)
33.4
(92.1)
33.5
(92.3)
37.5
(99.5)
Average high °C (°F) 31.8
(89.2)
32.9
(91.2)
33.5
(92.3)
33.4
(92.1)
32.0
(89.6)
31.6
(88.9)
31.2
(88.2)
31.2
(88.2)
30.7
(87.3)
30.9
(87.6)
31.0
(87.8)
31.2
(88.2)
31.8
(89.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 27.9
(82.2)
28.7
(83.7)
29.3
(84.7)
29.5
(85.1)
28.4
(83.1)
28.3
(82.9)
27.8
(82)
27.9
(82.2)
27.3
(81.1)
27.4
(81.3)
27.5
(81.5)
27.6
(81.7)
28.1
(82.6)
Average low °C (°F) 23.3
(73.9)
23.7
(74.7)
24.3
(75.7)
24.8
(76.6)
24.5
(76.1)
24.5
(76.1)
24.2
(75.6)
24.4
(75.9)
23.9
(75)
23.8
(74.8)
23.8
(74.8)
23.7
(74.7)
24.1
(75.4)
Record low °C (°F) 17.8
(64)
17.1
(62.8)
18.5
(65.3)
21.1
(70)
20.7
(69.3)
20.5
(68.9)
21.0
(69.8)
20.7
(69.3)
21.2
(70.2)
21.0
(69.8)
19.8
(67.6)
17.2
(63)
17.1
(62.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 29.8
(1.173)
20.9
(0.823)
49.1
(1.933)
121.9
(4.799)
319.4
(12.575)
268.9
(10.587)
290.5
(11.437)
272.6
(10.732)
399.0
(15.709)
309.6
(12.189)
175.7
(6.917)
59.4
(2.339)
2,316.8
(91.213)
Avg. rainy days 4 3 5 11 21 19 19 19 23 22 16 8 170
Mean monthly sunshine hours 286.2 271.5 282.3 247.9 188.5 139.5 172.6 174.1 143.2 179.8 197.1 244.3 2,527
Source #1: Thai Meteorological Department[1], Hong Kong Observatory [2]
Source #2: NOAA (sun, extremes)[3]

Images[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "30 year Average (1961-1990) - PHUKET". Thai Meteorological Department. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  2. ^ "Climatological Normals of Phuket". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  3. ^ "PHUKET INTL AIRPORT 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 

Coordinates: 7°48′23″N 98°17′56″E / 7.80639°N 98.29889°E / 7.80639; 98.29889