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Typhoon Lekima leaves at least 30 people dead, 5 million more affected

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Typhoon Lekima leaves at least 30 people dead, 5 million more affected | Thaiger

PHOTO: China Daily/ANN

At least 30 people are reported dead from the deadly typhoon in East China’s Zhejiang province. Another 20 people are missing and the death toll is expected to rise.

Most of the deaths occurred in Yongjia county where torrential downpours caused a landslide that blocked rivers. The barrier lake bursted and flooded people away. Twenty two people have died and 10 remain missing, feared dead.

Nearly 1.08 million people have been evacuated to safe places, and close to 5 million people in Zhejiang are affected, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.

Three were killed in Lin’an, with four missing, while three died in Leqing, with three missing, and three went unaccounted for in Linhai. Lekima, the ninth typhoon of this year, landed early Saturday morning in Zhejiang, bringing heavy rainstorms and triggering flash floods.

In Zhejiang, the typhoon damaged more than 34,000 houses. Direct economic loss is in excess of 15 billion yuan (about US$2.1 billion) and rescue operations are underway. Lekima is moving northwards and will churn up the east coast of Shandong Province on Sunday.

It is expected to make a second landing along the coastline in Shandong late Sunday, bringing strong wind and heavy downpours, the National Meteorological Centre warned on Sunday.

Shandong air traffic management bureau said the typhoon will greatly affect traffic in airports of the area. A total of 47 flights have already been cancelled, postposed or re-directed.

In Shanghai, the local weather office issued an orange alert yesterday afternoon, with heavy downpours hitting the area last night.

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Weather

Northern Thailand summer storms damage almost 3,000 homes

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Northern Thailand summer storms damage almost 3,000 homes | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

Almost 3,000 homes are damaged after northern Thailand summer storms wreaked havoc in 11 provinces. The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department says Pichit, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai and Nan are among the hardest hit. 1 death was also reported in Nan province when a tree branch fell onto a woman’s car, killing her. 5 others were injured in Nan, Pichit and Surin.

Thailand’s northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima saw the most damage with about 300 houses needing repairs. Surin province followed in seeing the most damages. The Thailand Meteorological Department says summer storms will continue up north until mid-week.

Last week, a summer storm hit the northern Thailand’s Phitsanulok province, causing serious damage in the town and surrounding areas. Houses, shops, and a petrol station were damaged. Area officials say some houses were completely demolished in the storm. Trees toppled the Phitsanulok-Nakhon Thai highway, where traffic was blocked in several areas.

District chief, Nisit Sawasdithep, told Chiang Rai Times that he ordered disaster mitigation authorities to examine the damage so that assistance and relief goods could be rapidly provided for those who were affected the most by the summer storm.

Also in northern Thailand, farmland and forests blaze with abundance (the annual burning season usually lasts from January to April, before the wet season kicks in). Despite increasing cautions against air pollution affecting short and long-term health of residents, the fires don’t show signs of stopping. The government has even issued a no burning ban, but enforcing the ban has proved to be fruitless as such provinces in northern Thailand consist of vast forest lands.

The government helicopter team can only do so much as they set out to locate hotspots and attempt to extinguish them by dropping buckets of water. But crop burning appears to be the cheapest and fastest way to help farmers clear their lands for a new growing season.

Recently, Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Mai has ranked the 3rd most polluted city in the world, according to AirVisual, which gives live updates of rankings. Today, Chiang Mai doesn’t appear in the list of the top 10 most air-polluted cities in the world, according to iqair.com

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Heavy storms to hit many parts of Thailand between today and Tuesday

Maya Taylor

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Heavy storms to hit many parts of Thailand between today and Tuesday | Thaiger
PHOTO: Gary Hayes / Flickr

The Thai Meteorological Department is warning of sudden summer storms, bringing strong gusts and possibly even hail, across many parts of the country. Yep, looks like the wet season has arrive d abut early in parts of Thailand this year. The TMD says the north-east, east, north, central, and upper south of the country will be affected from today until Tuesday. Officials say they fear the damage in many areas “could be extensive”.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the stormy weather is the result of a high-pressure system from China, that is currently moving over Thailand and the South China Sea. The TMD expects it to move into the north-east and east of the country today, followed by the north and centre, including Bangkok, eventually making its way down to the upper south of the country.

People are asked to exercise caution, by avoiding potential hazards such as large trees and advertising hoardings. Farmers are advised to implement measures to protect their crops. In the south, officials are warning of heavy rain and strong winds. Waves of 2–3 metres are expected in the Andaman Sea, even higher during thunderstorms. The TMD says shipping in the region should proceed with caution and that small boats should not venture out to sea.

Meanwhile, firefighters in the north of the country have been battling a number of bush fires, which have worsened the already unsafe air quality. The Royal Thai Army says fire fighters and volunteers spent 5 hours yesterday battling a bush fire at Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. The Bangkok Post reports that 120 rai of forest was destroyed in the blaze.

Another 100 army officers teamed up with national park staff and village volunteers to fight a bush fire that had been raging in the park since Thursday. Officials say 90% of the blaze had been brought under control by late yesterday, but the air quality in the region is significantly worse as a result of the fire. 156 micrograms of PM2.5 were recorded near Chiang Mai university on Friday, far exceeding the 50 classified as safe.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pattaya water drainage system construction completed

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Pattaya water drainage system construction completed | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia

A major water drainage system construction project in Jomtien has been completed on schedule according to Pattaya City officials. The construction was needed to resolve frequent problems in the area with flooding by adding more water drainage pipes to the ocean while also widening the pipes already in place in the area. The project covered a lower area in town, from Rompho Market to the Dongtan curve on Jomtien Beach, which is easily flooded by heavy rains because the surrounding streets are higher.

The construction was declared officially finished yesterday by Pattaya City officials. All that remains is to repaint street markings and lane lines, which is scheduled in the near future. The project was expected to take 180 days and ground was broken on November 16. There were concerns the project would be delayed or slowed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the project was completed on schedule in less than the time predicted.

Flooding has been a major problem in Pattaya for years, with some roads under up to 80 cm of rainwater last October, and a 2-hour rainstorm caused flash floods that brought the area to a standstill last July. The increased drainage will hopefully help move water off the city streets and back into the ocean more quickly, bringing water levels down and minimizing heavy rain’s impact on Pattaya residents.

Ten projects were tackled to deal with flooding issues around Pattaya and are expected to be finished by April 4, with a total cost of 280 million baht. New construction projects to lay underground cables amongst other building are scheduled to get underway in the near future but have drawn some criticism over being undertaken in quick succession.

The water drainage system just completed previously received criticism also from business owners and local residents, concerned that the construction would negatively affect their businesses and lives during a time when the pandemic had already destroyed much of the economy.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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