Occupiers of a row of rented apartments in Huay Yai Village, located on the southern outskirts of Pattaya reported the possible discovery of a geothermal hole situated at the front of one of the apartments on Wednesday afternoon.
Although highly unlikely, officials from the Pollution Control Department, the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment along with Huay Yai Municipal Officers led by the Mayor of Hua Yai made their way to the block of rooms to see for themselves the hole which had been created by locals to uncover the hot undersoil which was producing steam.
A thermometer recorded a temperature of 50◦c inside the hole and a demonstration involving a Chicken egg took place whereby it was cooked and ready to be consumed in under 20 minutes after being placed inside the hole.
Checks were made and an explanation was given by officials who blamed poor installation of electrics and the rise in the water table due to recent rains. We were told that checks on the electrics installed in the rooms, which were constructed 4 years ago, indicated a leak of power into the ground which accounts for the occupiers unusually high electric bills which, up until now, could not be explained. As the water table rose it came into contact with the leaking electric causing the water to increase in temperature and evaporate which produced the steam and made the ground warm under-foot.
Checks indicated the rooms were built on a Cassava Field and they were built quickly and with a low budget which may account for the poor and potentially dangerous installation of power.
Officials claim there is no danger for those residing in the rooms but they recommend an urgent rewiring should take place.
For now, any dreams of transforming the area into a tourist attraction have been dashed.