Month: March 2005

  • Phuket NewsKrabi tsunami corpses transfered to Phuket | Thaiger

    Krabi tsunami corpses transfered to Phuket

    PHUKET: Ten refrigerated containers holding the bodies of tsunami victims from Krabi Province have been transfered to the cemetery at Mai Khao.Five containers holding 212 bodies were brought to Phuket on Sunday and the other five arrived yesterday. The temporary mortuary in Krabi has now been closed.The bodies, all of which are believed to belong to foreigners, will be kept…

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  • Phuket News

    Police get training in handling bombs

    PHUKET CITY: The Special Operations Unit (SOU) of Phuket Provincial Police are receiving some timely training in the use of blast suppression blankets – commonly known as bomb blankets – from Frank Boyd, a Supervisory Security Specialist with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at the US Embassy in Bangkok. Pol Capt Charkrawat Buntaweekulsawat, the Chief of Phuket SOU, stressed that…

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  • Phuket NewsFerry rules crackdown sparks fears of “mob’ | Thaiger

    Ferry rules crackdown sparks fears of “mob’

    THALANG: The Marine Office today began enforcing rules barring ferries from carrying both passengers and cargo, and limiting the number of passengers per ferry on all boats operating from the Bang Rong Pier, sparking fears that ferry operators may oppose the crackdown with a mob.The move to enforce maritime safety regulations follows the deaths of 10 people in the sinking…

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  • Phuket NewsFed Cup tennis comes to Phuket | Thaiger

    Fed Cup tennis comes to Phuket

    PATONG: A 4,000-seat tennis court will be built in Patong so that Phuket can host one of the Group II quarterfinals of the premier international women’s tennis competition, the Federation Cup, between Thailand and Croatia, on April 23 and 24.The Federation Cup is an annual team tennis competition. After round-robin play last year between 88 countries, 16 teams have won…

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  • Phuket News

    Bypass project nears halfway mark

    PHUKET: Motorists are asked not to be unduly alarmed by the sound of explosions as they travel along the bypass road to do their weekend shopping – it’s all part of the Government’s 111-million-baht project to widen Chalermprakiat Ror IX Rd to make for room for Phuket’s ever-growing number of vehicles. Boonyakiat Kongketyai, government engineer with the Highway Department and…

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  • Phuket NewsODPM officers “responsible for missing B2m’ | Thaiger

    ODPM officers “responsible for missing B2m’

    PHUKET: The former chief of the Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM), Metha Mekarat, and several of his staff were responsible for the disappearance of more than two million baht earmarked for tsunami victims, Vice-Governor Supachai Yuwaboon announced yesterday.V/Gov Supachai has been chairing a commission set up to investigate the disappearance of the money – reported missing on February…

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  • Phuket NewsInformation “the key’ to restoring tourism | Thaiger

    Information “the key’ to restoring tourism

    BERLIN: Prospective visitors to Asia have indicated that they would like more information about the areas hit by the December 26 tsunami, and cite health and sanitation as their main concerns, according to the results of a survey released on March 10 at ITB Berlin, the international tourism industry’s premier expo.The findings of the Post-Tsunami Global Travel Intentions Research (PTGTIR),…

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  • Phuket News

    Tsunami memorial funding cut back

    PHANG NGA: The head of the Phang Nga office of the Ministry of Culture today told the Gazette that the Cabinet this week approved an initial budget of 50 million baht for construction of a 1.5-billion-baht tsunami memorial in Bang Niang.The original idea for the memorial park called for a 2-billion-baht high-tech dome off the beach at Bang Niang, a…

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  • Phuket News“Jealous’ man admits stabbing Brit | Thaiger

    “Jealous’ man admits stabbing Brit

    KRABI: The taxi driver who allegedly stabbed Briton Richard Mark Collins to death in a jealous rage on the evening of March 8 has confessed to killing Mr Collins, but claims he acted in self-defense.The suspect, 29-year-old Uthane Douangnoi, is being held in the Krabi Provincial Court jail while he awaits a court appearance on a charge of murder.According to…

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  • Phuket NewsLookout towers to be built at beaches | Thaiger

    Lookout towers to be built at beaches

    PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) intends to build 12 permanent watchtowers, where observers can watch for signs of future tsunamis, and also monitor the safety of tourists.Some of the towers will replace existing lifeguard stations; others will be completely new.OrBorJor Vice-President Sutin Lean-Udom said there would eventually be three towers around Kata and Karon; three in Patong…

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  • Phuket News

    Time bomb found in Pa Khlok

    PA KHLOK: Police explosives experts from Takua Pa last night used a controlled explosion to destroy a time bomb found in a quiet residential street of the east Phuket village of Baan Pa Khlok.The device, according to Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Suwit Othong, consisted of two sticks of C4 plastique wrapped tightly in black insulating tape and connected by wires…

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  • Phuket NewsTsunami victim stats updated | Thaiger

    Tsunami victim stats updated

    PHUKET: The Tsunami Center in Phuket has issued updated statistics of the number of victims from the December 26 tsunami, following deduplication of lists.The total number of dead from the tsunami is now officially 5,395 people, comprising 1,926 Thais, 1,953 foreigners and 1,516 of as-yet-unidentified nationality.A total of 8,457 people were injured – 6,065 Thais and 2,392 foreigners. Still missing…

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  • Phuket NewsJapanese tsunami warning plan outlined | Thaiger

    Japanese tsunami warning plan outlined

    PHUKET: Japanese seismologists have recommended that a Japanese tsunami early warning system be installed in the deep ocean and linked to beaches along the Andaman coast of Thailand that were hit by the December 26 tsunami.The Tokyo University team, led by Professor Kimiro Meguro, unveiled the proposal during a meeting today at Phuket Provincial Hall with Vice-Governor Supachai Yuvaboon.The scientists…

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  • Phuket NewsTsunami blame report to be buried | Thaiger

    Tsunami blame report to be buried

    BANGKOK (The Nation): The public will not hear whether the Meteorological Department failed in its duty to warn people about December’s devastating tsunami, Smith Thammasaroj, the chief of the investigation into the disaster, said yesterday.K. Smith said a report into the incident might never be written.He said that he would conceal a tsunami report from the public out of patriotism…

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  • Phuket NewsGovt slashes Patong, Kamala rebuilding funds | Thaiger

    Govt slashes Patong, Kamala rebuilding funds

    PHUKET CITY: The Cabinet yesterday approved a budget of 200 million baht to rebuild Patong Beach and a further 100 million baht to rebuild Kamala Beach, together totaling less than a third of the original budgets Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkul requested.At a meeting of district chiefs and other top-ranking provincial officials, chaired by Governor Udomsak today, Vice-Governor Winai Buapradit announced…

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  • Phuket NewsMarine Chief defends agency after sinking | Thaiger

    Marine Chief defends agency after sinking

    PHUKET: Surin Tirakulpisut, Head of the Phuket Marine Office, defended his agency in the face of scathing criticism, both in the media and by Government officials, after the disastrous sinking of the ferry Rungroj last Saturday.The last victim of the Rungroj was pulled from the sea yesterday evening, bringing the final death toll to 10. The victim was identified as…

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  • Thailand NewsTarget practice | Thaiger

    Target practice

    PATTAYA: Though few people may know this, it’s actually against Thai law for three people to ride on the same motorbike. Three young men on a drinking spree in Pattaya learned the hard way that even if the police tend not to enforce the law rigorously, there are other perfectly good reasons not to pile so many on a single…

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  • Thailand NewsCostly cat nap | Thaiger

    Costly cat nap

    BANGKOK: Just like the felines they are named after, cat burglars are known for their stealth, cunning, and grace of movement. But a cat burglar who successfully scaled his way into a Siam Commercial Bank office early one Sunday morning shared another another trait with cats that turned out to be his undoing – cat napping. Police arrested would-be bank…

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  • Phuket NewsCall to subsidize airlines’ costs | Thaiger

    Call to subsidize airlines’ costs

    PHUKET: The Chairman of Orient Thai Airlines has called upon the government to subsidize airlines using Phuket International Airport as a way to boost tourism to the island.Udom Tantiprasongchai said yesterday that his airline would like to see the government waive the airport departure tax, offer free visas on arrival to passengers and excuse airlines from paying landing and navigation…

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  • Phuket NewsFerry death toll rises to nine | Thaiger

    Ferry death toll rises to nine

    KOH YAO: Nine people drowned when the overloaded passenger ferry Rungroj capsized and sank in heavy seas off Naka Island Saturday afternoon. One person is still missing. Of the nine dead, five were children and three others were women. The 13-meter vessel had left Bang Rong pier in Thalang District and was bound for Koh Yao Noi at about 3…

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  • Phuket NewsFortune 500 firms step in to help | Thaiger

    Fortune 500 firms step in to help

    PHUKET: Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura on Friday announced the top five mid- and long-term priorities that US Fortune 500 companies can help with, following the December 26 tsunami.Governor Udomsak met with James Lee Witt, former Director of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and fellow consultants from James Lee Witt Associates, which provides disaster recovery and mitigation management consultancy…

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  • Phuket NewsTsunami alarm test fails to convince public | Thaiger

    Tsunami alarm test fails to convince public

    PATONG: The resort town’s new early warning system encountered a few hiccups during its first test on Friday, with one witness describing it as sounding like “an announcement at a temple fair”.Two of the seven sirens installed throughout Patong Municipality failed to go off,and even when this had been rectified, the alarms were not audible to everyone, although the manufacturers…

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  • Phuket News

    Fishing boat relief payout “nearly complete’

    PHUKET: The Phuket office of the Department of Fisheries (DoF) expects to finish paying out about 46.8 million baht in aid to rebuild Phuket’s fishing fleet by the end of next week, Issara Bussayarat, Chief of the Phuket DoF office has told the Gazette.K. Issara said that 550 fishing boats registered with the Department were damaged by the December 26…

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  • Phuket NewsB2m aid theft probe extended | Thaiger

    B2m aid theft probe extended

    PHUKET: The deadline for completion of the vice-gubernatorial investigation into the theft of more than 2 million baht of tsunami aid money has been extended. It will now conclude on March 11, Governor Usdomsak Usawarangkura said.The original deadline for the investigation – led by Vice-Governor Supachai Yuwaboon and separate from the criminal investigation by the police – was March 2.However,…

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  • Chiang MaiThree from PRU die in Chiang Mai bus crash | Thaiger

    Three from PRU die in Chiang Mai bus crash

    PHUKET: Two students and a teacher from Phuket Rajabhat University (PRU) were killed in a road accident near Chiang Mai on Thursday.The three were members of a 40-strong party from PRU on an educational trip to northern Thailand. They were on their way back to Phuket at the end of the trip when the accident happened.The dead students, both women…

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  • Phuket NewsQuake worry sparks reservoir rethink | Thaiger

    Quake worry sparks reservoir rethink

    PHUKET: Plans to build a dam at Bang Niew Dum in Thalang District have been ditched and new plans are being drawn so that the dam will be more resistant to earthquake tremors.Wit Wonggamonchoon, Chief of the Surat Thani-based Irrigation Construction Region 5 office, told the Gazette, “The earthquake off Indonesia was 9.5 on the Richter scale.” Shocks from the…

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  • Phuket NewsBeauties for Bangla | Thaiger

    Beauties for Bangla

    PHUKET: Some 44 contestants in the 2005 Miss Thailand Universe competition will arrive in Phuket on March 17 for a one-week stay on the island. The visit is intended to help bring tourists back to Phuket in the aftermath of the tsunami. When not out promoting tourism, the Thai beauties will be cloistered at the Kata Beach Resort.Resort owner Pamuke…

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  • Phuket NewsTiger boosts Singapore-Phuket service | Thaiger

    Tiger boosts Singapore-Phuket service

    PHUKET: Singaporean low-cost carrier Tiger Airways is to start operating three additional flights a week to Phuket.The new flights will start on March 25, and will run during the evening, three days a week. Added to Tiger’s existing one flight per day, the new services will bring the total number of flights by the airline between Singapore and Phuket per…

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  • Phuket NewsTsunami relief centre closes | Thaiger

    Tsunami relief centre closes

    PHUKET: Sixty-two days after the tsunami, the relief center for tsunami victims in Phuket has closed, following a Cabinet decision on Tuesday that there was no longer a need for emergency assistance of the kind the center had provided.Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura said that the focus now has shifted to long-term recovery and that he and the governors of the…

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  • Phuket NewsPatong gets disaster warning system | Thaiger

    Patong gets disaster warning system

    PATONG: An emergency alarm system has been installed in Patong and will be handed over to Patong Municipality tomorrow. The system will also be tested.The system will feature seven alarms, outside Kalim School, at Loma Park, outside the Bank of Asia branch, at the Sai Nam Yen intersection, outside the Baan Yin Dee Hotel, outside Suwan Keree school, and at…

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  • Phuket NewsJapan travel giant pushes Phuket | Thaiger

    Japan travel giant pushes Phuket

    PATONG: Ways to attract more Japanese tourists back to post-tsunami Phuket were top of the agenda during the annual meeting of Japan’s oldest tour company, JTB Corp, at the Diamond Cliff Resort and Spa.JTB Group President Sano Kazuhisa said JTB was planning to increase its promotion of areas affected by the tsunami, including Phuket, the Maldives, Langkawi, Penang, Sri Lanka…

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  • Phuket NewsQantas offers special deal to Phuket | Thaiger

    Qantas offers special deal to Phuket

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Australian national carrier Qantas and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have launched a joint “Rediscover Thailand” marketing campaign, aimed at helping Phuket recover from the December 26 tsunami.“Rediscover Thailand” will offer tourists a range of specially-priced packages, including one to Phuket including eight nights’ accommodation and airport transfers from A$1,089 (32,760 baht) per person, excluding taxes.The first…

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  • Phuket NewsHealth Dept moves to avert disease outbreak | Thaiger

    Health Dept moves to avert disease outbreak

    PHUKET: The Department of Health (DOH) will step up its efforts to ensure there are no outbreaks of disease in tsunami-stricken areas and camps for displaced people, the department’s Director-General, Dr Somyos Charoensak said today.Dr Somyos made the announcement at a meeting of health officials from the six tsunami-affected provinces at the Phuket Merlin Hotel in Phuket City.Although no outbreaks…

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  • Phuket NewsSpecial air deals for MICE passengers | Thaiger

    Special air deals for MICE passengers

    PHUKET: To help boost tourism to Phuket, Bangkok Airways will provide 43,920 free tickets for government officers traveling from Bangkok to Phuket or vice-versa for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) between April 1 and September 30.In the same period, private-sector MICE travelers will be able to buy one-way Bangkok-Phuket tickets for just 500 baht and round-trip tickets for 1,000…

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  • Phuket NewsB5.25bn set aside to revive tourism | Thaiger

    B5.25bn set aside to revive tourism

    BANGKOK (The Nation): The Cabinet yesterday approved a 5.25-billion-baht budget to carrying out projects to revive tourism in the six Andaman-coast provinces hit by tsunami, after cutting the down the proposed figures by 4.11 billion baht.Government Spokesman Jakrapob Penkair said the Cabinet approved a budget of 2.651 billion baht from the normal budget for the 2005 fiscal year for projects…

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  • Phuket News

    US seamen aid cleanup

    PHUKET: The United States Ambassador to Thailand, Ralph Boyce, was in Phuket yesterday visiting sailors from the US Navy who were helping in the post-tsunami clean-up.Some of the 1,200 sailors, in Kamala for three days to clear wrecked buildings and other debris, joined Ambassador Boyce in delivering to Thai students food, clothes, books and cards made by American schoolchildren.Ambassador Boyce…

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  • Phuket News

    Progress in tsunami fund theft case

    PHUKET: Phuket City Police say they have promising leads relating to the apparent theft of more than 2 million baht in government tsunami relief funds, and expect to make an arrest soon.The funds were reported missing on February 15 by Metha Mekarat, Head of the Phuket Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM), who said 2.05 million baht had gone…

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