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Cyclone Amphan’s death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh – VIDEO

Anukul

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Cyclone Amphan’s death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: aljazeera.com
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Today the clean up starts in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan after it reached the coastline Wednesday evening and started heading inland. In parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal (eastern India boarding Bangladesh), at least 83 people have died. It’s affected some 10 million Indian and Bangladeshi people, leaving countless homeless.

With winds around 170 kilometre per hour, most of the deceased were killed by falling trees, electrocuted by downed power poles or trapped within collapsed buildings, leaving a trail of destruction and grief.

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, told local media in a press conference that, “she had never seen such a disaster before and the impact of Amphan cyclone is worse than the coronavirus.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, as the storm barrelled up the Bay of Bengal, emergency crews headed to populated beach areas, trying to convince locals to leave their homes and evacuate to the shelters. Read more HERE

Around 3 million people in India and Bangladesh followed the calls and moved to safety. However, Indian police officers say that some villagers resisted going to shelters as they feared becoming stuck in a closed space with thousands of others at a time the coronavirus.

Yesterday, after the cyclone had weakened as it moved inland towards the northeastern parts of India, with wind speeds of 60 kilometre per hour. Many villagers who had fled to the cyclone shelters began heading back to their villages, only to find their homes completely wrecked.

Among the reported deaths, the authorities revealed that 10 people had died in Bangladesh, and at least 73 in India, 15 in Kolkata alone.

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Ms. Banerjee, the West Bengal minister, says that the region was in a “warlike” situation and that the loss of lives could surpass the toll of Covid-19. The authorities there reported that “Bangladesh seemed to do better at getting people into emergency shelters, evacuating a total of 2.4 million people. Whereas in India, officials estimated that only around 660,000 had been evacuated.”

“Even the local news was focused more on coronavirus than the cyclone, when the government finally started evacuating people and people realised the intensity of the storm, it was too late.”

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Today Indian PM Narendra Modi left New Delhi to conduct an aerial survey of the worst hit areas of West Bengal and Odisha states.

Through an initial assessment, officials in Bangladesh say the cyclone caused damage to infrastructure, homes, fisheries, livestock, water supplies and agriculture to about US$130 million (more than 4 billion baht). The full extent of the damage is not yet full apparent and the death toll is expected to rise.

The PM says that “no stone will be left unturned in helping the affected.”

SOURCE: Ny Times | Aljaeera | Times of India | Hosted

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

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Environment

Unemployed elephants: Some return to the wild, others sent to work in logging business

Caitlin Ashworth

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Unemployed elephants: Some return to the wild, others sent to work in logging business | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

The drop in tourism has had a huge impact on the elephants in Northern Thailand, leaving many elephants, you could say, unemployed. While some elephants are out of business and been taken back to their natural habitat, others are struggling in captivity and might be sent off to work in animal labour which some people may deem as unethical.

A reporter from BBC Thailand follow a group of elephants making the trek and spoke with those in the ‘elephant’ business. You can watch the video HERE. One owner, who goes by the name Uncle Eddy, told BBC, if the tourism industry doesn’t pick up soon, he will hand over his 57 elephants to a logging business in Myanmar.

The video from BBC Thailand showed Uncle Eddy’s elephants on short chains standing in a cement outdoor structure. He said if the elephants don’t work, then they don’t get exercise. Without exercise, the pregnant elephants would have trouble giving birth and the babies would eventually die, according to his commentary.

Thailand has a variety of elephant camps and sanctuaries. There is continuous debate on how elephants should be cared for in captivity. Some establishments keep elephants on a short chain, only to be taken out for rides or shows. Some businesses describing themselves as sanctuaries have elephants roaming the property and allow tourist to feed and bathe the animals. This ‘ethical’ model is becoming more popular with some of the tourism demographics visiting Thailand in the past.

The Chiang Mai-based Save Elephant Foundation started a project to return some of the elephants back to their natural habitats, Thai PBS World reports. From April to May, more than 100 elephants trekked north from Chiang Mai to Mae Chaem, a 150 kilometre trek.

BBC followed a small group of elephants led by the Save Elephant Foundation and said the elephants became very thirsty and some seemed to be “low on energy”. The charity’s founder, Lek Chailert, says the pandemic is a chance to get elephants out of the tourism industry.

“Tourists would be swamping into Thailand. The Covid-19 pandemic will give us time to think.”

SOURCES: BBC Thailand | Thai PBS World

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Northern Thailand

Dozens get hospitalised after eating raw meat salad

Caitlin Ashworth

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Dozens get hospitalised after eating raw meat salad | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod

Dozens of Northern Thailand villagers became sick after eating raw buffalo meat and were treated for food poisoning at local hospitals. All 79 people treated ate the raw buffalo meat.

The meat was sold in beef stalls at wet markets in Phayao Province next to Chiang Rai, Thai media reports. Some people bought the meat, possibly thinking it was beef, and ate it as a raw beef salad. Others ate the meat at a restaurant that had purchased it from the same markets. Those who ate the meat on Sunday night started vomiting and having diarrhoea by early Monday morning.

With Thailand’s hot weather and raw meat sold in outdoor markets, there’s a higher chance of food poisoning, a public health official said, advising against the consumption of raw meat at any time.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Environment

African horse sickness: Imported zebras need health check and quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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African horse sickness: Imported zebras need health check and quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS

Humans have the coronavirus, the animal world in Thailand has an outbreak of their own: African horse sickness. The government is now requiring all imported zebras to be quarantined and tested before entering the country. The same goes for horses.

Why are people importing zebras? Who knows, but apparently it hasn’t been that hard to get the exotic animals into Thailand. A former university faculty of fisheries dean said “zebras, for instance, are freely imported through Suvarnabhumi airport as though they were cats or dogs,” according to Nation Thailand.

Thailand is experiencing its first outbreak of the disease, affecting more than 500 horses since February. Some were prized racehorses. Apparently zebras imported from Africa are the source, with some of the zebras testing positive for the disease, but officials say there’s not enough evidence to completely lay the blame on the zebras.

There’s been a vaccine released by the government’s livestock department, but racehorse owners say that many horses have died after being vaccinated, with the assumption that the animals had become infected before receiving the vaccine and the animal building immunity. There are strict restrictions in Nakhon Ratchasima where the outbreak emerged. The Bangkok Post said any movement of giraffes, horses, donkeys and mules is prohibited.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post| Bangkok Post

Posted by Thai PBS on Monday, 18 May 2020

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