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Slow-moving tropical storm Nakri heads towards Vietnam coast

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Slow-moving tropical storm Nakri heads towards Vietnam coast | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: NOAA

Tropical storm Nakri (you know it’s serious when they give it a name), packing wind speeds up to 95 kph, is marching slowly towards Vietnam’s eastern coast. Currently it’s heading westwards between The Philippines and Vietnam. The storm is forecast to make landfall along the central Vietnamese coast this weekend.

The storm is not likely to affect weather conditions in Thailand although there may be some additional rain in the north of Thailand early next week as the storm weakens and moves westwards.

Thai travellers to Vietnam are being advised to check weather conditions before their departure and to stay updated about the storm. By tonight the storm will be around 220 km from the Southwest Cay islet, with increasing winds up to 115 kph.

The storm is expected to bring rain to south central and south-eastern Vietnam until Sunday before weakening. The Hong Kong weather station forecast that it would move across Vietnam and reach Cambodia on Monday.

The weathermen also recommend that Thai travellers to India should check weather conditions, warning that Cyclone Bulbul, a very severe cyclonic storm, is moving across the Bay of Bengal and is forecast to hit northern India and Bangladesh on Sunday or Monday, while confirming that the cyclone will not have any impact on Thailand.

India’s Met Office has forecast sustained wind speeds of 120-130 kph, gusting up to 140 kph, when the cyclone is at its most severe today and a lessening to a severe cyclonic storm on Saturday.

Slow-moving tropical storm Nakri heads towards Vietnam coast | News by The Thaiger

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Environment

Laos – the ‘battery’ of Asia and a ticking environmental time bomb

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Laos – the ‘battery’ of Asia and a ticking environmental time bomb | The Thaiger

LAOS POWER FACTS:

Number of power plants soon to be completed by the end of 2020:53 hydropower plants under construction or in the planning stage, including those set to be completed this year; there will be more than 90 hydropower plants in Laos with a combined installed capacity of almost 14,000MW.

Transmission lines that connect with neighbouring countries: 14 carry power to Thailand, 2 to Vietnam, 1 to China, 2 to Cambodia, and 1 to Myanmar.

Trick question. What uses more power? Siam Paragon in Bangkok or the entire province of Mae Hong Son (with 250,000 residents in north-west Thailand)?

The astonishing answer is, of course, Siam Paragon. By a factor of DOUBLE the power consumption of the north-western Thai province near the Myanmar border. Siam Paragon consumes 123 GWh of electricity a year (in 2011), compared to the quarter-million inhabitants of Mae Hong Son Province, who over the same period, used 65 GWh.

So, whilst you trek across some ancient hills enjoying an old and proud culture in Thailand’s north-west you need to compare that with some of the opulent malls in central Bangkok which can easily compare with their counterparts in Singapore, New York or London.

The worlds of luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Tiffany and Cartier, and the power these shops consume, is an entirely different world from other parts of rural Thailand. But Siam Paragon is just one of half a dozen luxury malls sprawled along a 6 kilometre stretch of the city’s upscale Sukhumvit stretch. They all consume vast amounts of power along with a growing number of expensive condominium projects.

So, Thailand has turned to Laos and the hydro-electric potential along the Mekong to feed its growing electricity demand. Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams, currently under construction, are among the cornerstones of a dam-building bonanza by Laos to realise its aspiration to become the “Battery of Asia”. Thailand is one of Laos’ key partners and buyers of power. And the kingdom’s largest energy consumer is (no surprise here) Bangkok, with it’s sparkling lights and air-conditioning ticking over the electricity meters at rapid pace.

Many analysts worry the planned hydropower dams will devastate fish populations, harm agriculture and hurt culture and tourism along the fragile Mekong basin, threatening the livelihoods of 65 million people who rely on the river for income and food.

With 42 power plants now operational, Laos is poised to realise its electricity ambitions. With a current installed capacity of approximately 6,000MW, the Lao government expects to achieve 14,000MW by the end of this year.

Thailand is not on its own with massive development and expansion putting pressure on the older ways of life. But the disparity in the Kingdom between the power-hungry city life and the older-style agriculture is now sharply in focus with this new deal with the Laos power providers.

But a devastating collapse at a hydro dam in July 2018 shon the spotlight on Laos’ energy ambitions again. The devastation caused by the collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy dam in Attapeu province was sharp proof of the potential dangers in the Laotian government’s plans. The landlocked country sells much of its electricity abroad, which makes up 30-40% of its total exports.

The Lao PDR government is planning to double current energy production in the next 2 years. But environmental groups are warning of the project’s impact on the environment and the nations the river supports.

The movement of water, fish and sediment downstream has historically supported tens of millions of people along the Mekong, and efforts to constrain its flow are proving disastrous for the riverside communities.

For nearly 20 years, activists have called for action against the development of hydro-dams and water projects. But this month the campaign took the next step with plans to focus on taking action at the policy level.

It took 2 decades, but activists have now launched the “Mekong People’s Forum.” 200 people attended the forum including local villagers, conservationists, journalists, and representatives from the US and Australian embassies. The Chinese embassy, although invited, did not send anyone to attend the event. China is responsible for 11 dams along the Mekong.

This is the first time the many conservation groups and activists have come together with a single forum to tackle the many challenges for the river. Several dams have now been built upstream in Laos and China causing massive problems for the natural flow of the river downstream through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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Weather

Vamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether

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Vamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether | The Thaiger

Typhoon Vamco, which killed some 67 people when it stormed through the middle of Luzon island late last week, has turned into a tropical storm which will have minor effects on Thailand’s weather over the next few days. Isolated light to moderate rains will be likely over the Northeast and the North today as a result… Vamco will track on through northern Laos.

Category 2 tropical depression has been declined as the active low pressure over Pakxan, Laos. It is forecast to be dispersed upward. There remains isolated light to moderate rains likely over the Northeast and the North in the following next day. Farmers should prevent for crop damage.

Typhoon Vamco made landfall over Dong Hoi, central Vietnam yesterday, already weakened after its trip westwards across the South China Sea, becoming a tropical storm. The storm is forecast to continue to dissipate as the eye crosses Laos and may track north, completely missing Thailand.

Typhoon Goni swept across The Philippines just 10 days before Vamco cut its way through many of the same communities, bringing storm surges and destruction through low-lying mid-Luzon communities. Evacuations have dislodged over 500,000 people during the past 2 typhoons.

Watch a video of Vamco as it cut through The Philippines HERE.

Vamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether | News by The ThaigerVamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: AccuWeather | TMD

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Weather

Fair weather for Thailand’s north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings

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Fair weather for Thailand’s north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Landslide on Koh Samui - Camille's Samui Blog

The Thai Meteorological Department has incorrectly forecast the tracking of the tropical storm ‘Vamco’, instead warning Thais to “brace for the impact of Typhoon Vamco over the weekend”, according to Bangkok Post.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

But the track of the storm is not even forecast to reach the far north of Thailand until late Monday or Tuesday, although there could be some rain and higher-than-usual winds in some locations. Indeed, the reliable forecast for many of the north eastern and northern Thai provinces for the forecast period is for mostly sunny conditions, according to AccuWeather (below).

As of yesterday, the Typhoon Vamco had killed at least 42 people in The Philippines, as residents returned to devastated homes following the worst flooding in years around Manila and nearby provinces. The typhoon cut a path similar to another typhoon just 10 days before, through the middle of the northern Luzon island.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Tracking Vamco – AccuWeather

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Weather.com – Khon Kaen

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Weather.com – Chiang Mai

The Thai Meteorological Department noted that the eye of the storm yesterday was in the South China Sea, about 500 kilometres east of Da Nang in Vietnam and is expected to make landfall early morning Sunday. But the tropical depression will lose a lot of its impact once it crosses the Vietnamese coastline and tracks north westwards through Vietnam and Laos.

“It is expected to make landfall over Vietnam by 15 November 2020 and then downgrade, respectively. Isolated light to moderate rain is likely over the Northeast and the North, during 15-16 November 2020.”

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, heavy rain and have featured in the central south, including Koh Samui and Chumpon, flooding many areas. Areas in all eight districts of Chumpon province have been effected. Parts of the Asia Highway, running north-south, have been under water.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: AccuWeather |weather.com | Bangkok Post | TMD

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