James Bond Island credit Engin Akyurt on Unsplash
Khao Ta Pu (Ko Ta Pu ) is more commonly known now as “James Bond Island” but erosion is now threatening the future of the iconic tourist attraction far more than any Bond villain.
The popular tourist attraction in Ao Phang Nga National Park was featured in the 1974 James Bond film “The Man With The Golden Gun” and is a popular day-trip especially for visitors staying in Phuket.
The 20m metre high limestone structure is being undermined by saltwater erosion which could, unless measures are taken, lead to its collapse.
Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is now working with the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to understand the damage already caused and how best to save it.
“The ministry is working with the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to survey the islet and surrounding areas to find ways to prevent erosion that might cause it to collapse.”
“We are adapting the techniques used in surveying damage of limestone… A 3D scanner, marine seismic scanner and echo sounder have been delpoyed to gather necessary information.”Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Preliminary findings have raised hopes that the foundations can be reinforced without causing damage to the area.
A monitoring programme is also being implemented in conjunction with the local community to track weather and marine conditions that may further undermine the stability of the structure.
Last October two huge sections, estimated to weigh up to 50,000 tonnes, of limestone broke off Koh Mae Urai near Phi Phi.
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