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Northern Thailand warned to brace for stormy weather

Jack Burton

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Northern Thailand warned to brace for stormy weather | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Lonely Planet
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Thunderstorms and high winds are forecast for Thailand’s North and Northeast. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) is warning northern and northeastern provinces to brace for stormy weather from tomorrow to Thursday.

DDPM director-general Monton Sudprasert said yesterday that high pressure from China and strong winds from the west will create thunderstorms, high winds and harsh weather.

Provinces expected to be hit include Chiang Rai; Chiang Mai; Mae Hong Son; Lamphun; Lampang; Phayao, Phrae; Nan; Tak; Sukhothai; Uttaradit; Phitsanulok and Kamphaeng Phet. Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan will also be affected.

Monton added that officials are closely monitoring the danger from storms and strong waves in the South, especially in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Pattani and Narathiwat, and warned people to beware of strong winds knocking down unstable structures.

The warnings come as the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Bangkok yesterday was found to be within Thailand’s “safe” limit. While the level during the day, the figure at around noon remained at between 20 and 47 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³), well within the Pollution Control Department’s standard of 50µg/m³. Smog in other provinces remained bad, especially in the North.

Monton says the minister of the interior has told his department to monitor the situation closely. Nine provinces in the North have been declared “no burn” zones until at least the end of April. Local authorities have also been told to increase penalties against violators of the ban on outdoor fires.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

Wildfires hit Mae Hong Son’s Pai district

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Wildfires hit Mae Hong Son’s Pai district | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Several wildfires have broken out in Mae Hong Son’s Pai district in Northern Thailand. The governor says he believes that several blazes happening in the area are a result of the dry season arriving earlier than usual.

Using the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer system, the local forest fire control centre detected 155 so-called “heat points” in the Pai district from January 1 to 12. Last year’s dry season only 96 heat points were detected.

There are no reports of property damages, injuries, or deaths.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Thai brothers charged with trafficking Thai women to Brunei for prostitution

Maya Taylor

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Thai brothers charged with trafficking Thai women to Brunei for prostitution | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod

3 people, including 2 brothers, have been arrested on charges of sex trafficking, accused of sending women to Brunei for prostitution purposes. Brothers Somchai Sukson, 55 years of age, and 49 year old Rachen Suksorn, were detained under an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court, charged with a sex trafficking operation involving over 3 people. Following the arrest of the first suspect, the Pattaya News reports that Somchai was arrested in the northern province of Chiang Rai, with his brother taken into custody in the neighbouring province of Nan. They are charged with sending Thai women to Brunei for the purpose of prostitution, conning the women with promises of well-paid masseuse work.

The allegations against the traffickers came to light when a couple of their alleged victims reported to the Thai Embassy in Brunei to file a complaint. The women say the men lured them to Brunei with promises of masseuse work, saying they could earn between 100,000 – 200,000 bath per month, as well as being provided with free food and accommodation.

However, the victims say once they arrived in the independent sultanate on the island of Borneo, they were forced to work as prostitutes and the salary and living conditions were not as described. The women say they were not allowed to return to Thailand and were forced to work in unhealthy conditions, until they managed to notify the Thai Embassy of their plight. The embassy subsequently coordinated with police in Thailand to arrest the first suspect, who is now being held in Klong Prem prison in Bangkok. The 2 brothers were arrested shortly after. All 3 deny the charges against them.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai officials insist province is now safe to visit

Maya Taylor

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Chiang Rai officials insist province is now safe to visit | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Ryan Harvey/Flickr

Officials in the northern province of Chiang Rai are assuring potential tourists from the rest of the Kingdom that it is safe to visit, saying the Covid-19 situation is under control. Chiang Rai hit the headlines in recent weeks, when a number of Thai nationals entered the province illegally from Myanmar. After bypassing health checks and quarantine, several subsequently tested positive for the virus, resulting in a handful of local infections.

Now deputy provincial governor, Worawit Chaisawat, is anxious to assure the rest of the country that the situation has been brought under control. He says the province has recorded no new local cases since the beginning of December. The only new infections in the province are imported cases brought in by those returning through the proper channels and entering state quarantine.

Around 180 Thai nationals are thought to have been employed at the 1G1-7 Hotel in the Burmese border town of Tachileik. Some media reports and claims from local residents say the 100 room, 4 storey hotel was used as a centre for prostitution. It became a hotbed of Covid-19 infections, causing much of its Thai workforce to flee, crossing back into Thailand illegally. Worawit says the resulting mini-outbreak of infections has now been brought under control and those who visit the province are not required to quarantine on their return home.

“We need to spread the word that there are no new infections in Chiang Rai. Visitors do not need to quarantine, and they are welcome to travel here. A flora festival is coming.”

The Bangkok Post reports that yesterday, the province recorded 6 new cases of the virus, all in state quarantine. All are believed to have arrived from Tachileik. Thailand recorded a total of 28 new cases yesterday, including 1 case of local transmission in a Bangkok nurse who had close contact with a Covid-19 patient.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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