PHUKET — Four beaches on the resort island of Phuket were deserted over the weekend after swarms of potentially fatal jellyfish were found there.
Tourists on the island were barred from swimming or even stepping onto the beaches in response to the discovery Thursday of more than 100 jellyfish, mostly blue bottle jellyfish and some box jellyfish.
By Sunday, more than 140 deadly poisonous hydrozoa, mostly blue-bodied Portuguese man o’ war, were found in the sand, marine official Suracharn Sarabat said.
The four beaches closed to visitors include Layan, Nai Thon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao beaches. The closure was effective for one week, Suracharn said.
Monsoonal storms and heavy rainstorms were blamed for the influx of the blue-bodied creatures, according to Suracharn.
Several tourists, including a 20-year-old German woman and 5-year-old French boy, have died of stings in recent years due to a seasonal increase in jellyfish populations.