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The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Thailand is working with other environmental agencies to figure out how to save a popular tourist attraction. Due to seawater erosion, Khao Ta Pu, also known as James Bond Island, in the southern province of Phang Nga, is in danger of collapsing. To save the islet, the ministry is working with officials from the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation.
After featuring in the James Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun" in 1974, the natural marine park landmark, a chunk of 20-meter high limestone, earned its nickname. It's located within the Ao Phang Nga National Park. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, says efforts have been made to determine the extent of seawater erosion.
“The ministry is inspecting the islet and surrounding areas with the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation to find ways to prevent erosion that may lead it to fall. The techniques used in surveying limestone damage at Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park in Surat Thani province and Pun Yod Rock Castle in Satun province are being adapted.”
Varawut is hopeful that the islet's foundation can be strengthened without impacting its natural beauty.
“To gather the necessary data, a 3D scanner, marine seismic scanner, and echo sounder have been deployed. Preliminary estimation suggests we can reinforce the islet's foundation without jeopardizing the scenery. Furthermore, with the help of local communities, we are establishing a monitoring program to track changes in weather and marine conditions in the area that may affect the landmark.”
Last October, a large chunk of reef broke off the coast of Koh Mae Urai, near Phi Phi island in Krabi's southern province. The huge piece broke off in two pieces, weighing around 30,000 and 50,000 tons, and collapsed onto a popular scuba diving reef.