The 400-million-baht sand-fill project being carried out along a 2.7km long beach in Pattaya City has recently been seriously damaged by recent floods. Pattaya beach is the first in the country to use artificial sand filling to deal with coastal erosion.

The Marine Department planned to expand the beach’s width equally to 35m at the beach from the Dusit curve on the Pattaya Nuea Road to the entrance to Pattaya Tai Road.

As for the sand-fill project, the official said, the longer it is left without the flood damage being repaired, the worse it will get. The sand-filling work on the about 400 metres out of the entire 2.7km length was completed before torrential rain came and triggered floods on the city’s beach side road, said a local official who asked not to be named. “The flood waters also washed away the filled sand into the sea leaving numerous craters on the sand-fill site,” the official said.

The department decided to adopt this method after it learned Pattaya Beach would disappear because of strong, high tides that ate away the beach. According to a study by the Aquatic Resources Research Institute of Chulalongkorn University, Pattaya will probably see its beaches disappear in about a decade if coastal erosion is left unresolved. “That would also mean more money would be wasted unnecessarily in this project,” said the same source.

Apart from coastal erosion, the city has been plagued by floods. The city administration has installed pumps and spent money on improving road conditions along the beach and within the city to cope with floods.

In a related development, Pattaya City just completed drafting a master plan on flood management, according to the city officials. The municipality plans to ask for cabinet approval within a few months.