Sunday, December 17, 2017
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Isaan feels wrath of tropical storm

Posted by pakin On July - 31 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Emergency teams evacuate trapped and work to clear flooded areas hit by landslides.

FLOODS AND heavy rains brought by tropical storm Sonca continued to wreak havoc in upper parts of Thailand, particularly the Northeast yesterday.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed officials to aid flood victims and clear flooded or landslide-blocked roads or railways and provide alternative transportation for people, said Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

Most parts of Sakon Nakhon city and roads were submerged while Sakhon Nakhon Airport announced it would temporarily close until this afternoon or until the flood situation improved. Some parts of the city also had electricity blackouts. Sakon Nakhon Hospital had to move patients to upper floors away from the flood.

Sakon Nakhon disaster prevention and mitigation office head Nitiwat Nitthinanthan said that over 100 flood victims had moved into a temporary shelter at the provincial administrative organisation stadium. He said people trapped in flooded homes should call the flood command centre’s number at 0 4271 1171 for help.

The command centre at the provincial governor’s residence would monitor the situation and dispatch staff and tools to aid affected residents, he added.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, 229 villages in five districts of Theparak, Prathai, Sida, Bua Lai, and Noen Daeng were submerged. Worst-hit Prathai reported 15,800 residents affected, and 28 roads, three reservoirs and 28,000 rai (4,480 hectares) of farmland under water.

In Khon Kaen’s Muang district, floodwater as deep as one-metre hit the city area on Thursday afternoon, especially Maliwan Road, where 30 cars were damaged. Road islands were demolished by the authority to help drain floods faster.

Days of heavy rains and northern runoffs have led to the Yom River bursting the flood barrier dam in Sukhothai’s Muang district, sending 80cm-deep floods to the Muang Sukhothai Municipality’s fresh market yesterday morning. The flood barrier had leaked the night before, resulting in slight flooding, but officials sealed the hole with large sandbags and continued to monitor the situation.

At 5am, the river bust the flood barrier again, 30 metres from the previous night’s leak. This time the floodwaters flowed along the Ratchathani Road and vendors at the market’s 50 shops had to close their businesses temporarily in the wake of 40cm- to 80cm-deep torrents.

As officials attempted to seal the new leak behind Wat Chai Chumpol in the afternoon, another 100-metre-long section of the barrier broke and floods covered the municipality’s economic area, including Rat-uthit, Thassanapanich roads. Wichien Jamnong and Khlong Taphetch communities were also submerged.

Yom River in front of the provincial governor’s residence was at 7.37 metres and flowed at 549 cubic metres per second between 8am and 2pm.

Royal Irrigation Department deputy chief Thongplew Kongchan cited a report by the Smart Water Operation Centre that noted the largest volume of water in the Yom River had passed Sukhothai’s Sri Satchanalai district via Ban Hat Saphan Chan sluice gate at 697 cubic metres per second at 4am yesterday.

The department was diverting water through Khlong Hok Baht at 170 cubic metres per second to help lessen flood risk to the Muang Sukhothai Municipality area by keeping it at a “manageable” level of under 550 cubic metres per second.

In Maha Sarakham, the widespread flooding has prompted the Highway Department to temporarily close two bridges on Highway 208; the bridges at kilometre markers 12+400 and 17+137 were under 50 centimetres of water and showing signs of erosion. Motorists are advised to instead use other routes.

Permanent Secretary for the PM’s Office Jirachai Moontongroy said his office’s fund to aid disaster victims was currently Bt700 million from previous flood donations.

He said the fund committee would have a meeting on August 4 to consider criteria to compensate and assist flood-affected residents nationwide.

He said each province had a Bt20 million budget reserved for disaster mitigation from the Interior Ministry, so they would consider providing aid as soon as possible.

 

Grab app now spots unsafe drivers

Posted by pakin On July - 26 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Ride-hailing service Grab on Tuesday incorporated telematics into its mobile application to automatically spot drivers behaving unsafely, such as speeding, swerving and hard braking and accelerating.

The feature uses predictive data analytics to identify unsafe behaviour and “educate” drivers about ways to improve through weekly telematics updates.

The launch across Southeast Asia follows a successful trial in Singapore, where it was rolled out in June.

Grab said in a press release that the feature has helped reduce driver speeding by 15 per cent, instances of hard braking by 11 per cent and instances of sudden hard acceleration by 18 per cent.

 

Police are yet to determine whether a pipe bomb found near the MRT’s Thailand Cultural Centre station yesterday was linked to three recent bomb blasts in the capital.

“If they are related, we will treat them as one case,” national police Commissioner Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda said yesterday.

The three recent blasts in Bangkok involved the use of pipe bombs. The first blew up in front of the Government Lottery Office on April 5 and the second in front of the National Theatre on May 15. They were minor explosions that did not cause much damage. The third pipe bomb, at the Phramongkutklao Hospital on May 22, left 25 people injured.

Chakthip said the area where the pipe bomb was found yesterday – in wasteland in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district – was now cordoned off for related officials to gather evidence.

On Tuesday afternoon, a motorcycle taxi driver who went to fish in the area, alerted authorities when he noticed a steel pipe with some attached wires.

Police and an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived in the area at about 2pm and after examining the pipe for more than an hour left without giving any details.

 

Trang’s inland treasures

Posted by pakin On April - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Beyond the beaches, the old walled town teems with historical and cultural charms

WHILE MOST of the travellers arriving in Trang quickly find a perch on the beach or head straight to the boats to go diving in the Andaman Sea, the tranquil town itself offers all sorts of landlubber delights.

Trang was a thriving trading hub in the days when it was known as Muang Thub Thieng, a port established by Chinese merchants.

In the days of the Sumatra-based Melayu Kingdom between 600 and 1200 AD, vessels docked there laden with kerosene for lamps and ingredients for making pastry. When they departed, they were filled with locally grown pepper.

In 1899 the area became the first place where rubber was planted in Siam. A man called Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi brought the saplings from Malaya and built up an export business.

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