The twelve boys and their coach have been discovered alive following nine days of frantic searching. They were trapped by floodwaters in a cave complex in the far north of Thailand. The governor of Chiang Rai Province said rescue workers were providing care and managing their extended stay whilst they await a supervised extraction.
Divers reached the group after enlarging a narrow, submerged passageway that was too small for them to get through while wearing their air tanks.
The group, captured on video by one of the English specialist diver, were alert, appeared in good spirits and engaged in conversation with the rescuers. The first worlds they said, in English, were “Thank you.”
Getting the boys and their coach out of the caves. in their weakened condition, and without diving training, is the next challenge.
Doctors with diving skills have been heading to the spot where the victims were found. Checkups are needed to determine whether the football’s team members can be moved out of the dark cave immediately. If not, they will receive medical treatment and food inside the cave and evaluations made how to best extract the group. Victim evacuation and transportation plans have already drawn up.
The announcement by Governor Narongsak received loud cheers.
Meanwhile, the families of 13 victims could hardly contain their joy when they learned that the 10 day long rescue operation had been successful and their children had been found, safe and reasonably alert and in good spirits.
I am so glad that I cannot think of anything else,” an uncle of a 13 year old football player from Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai said. A mother in the waiting group of families said, “I’m over the moon.”
The efforts of rescuers now turn to the tricky challenge of extracting the 13 members of the group. Teams are still trying to reduce the amount of water in the caves but it’s likely that the boys will have to put on diving equipment to get out of the caves.
Meanwhile the Thai Meteorological Department says that more rain is on the way from Wednesday, so rescuers will be keen to get the extractions started before more rain makes their operation more difficult.
SOURCES: Thai PBS, The Nation, The Thaiger
Australian Tham Luang cave divers receive prestigious Thai awards
Australian cave divers Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen have been conferred the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn at a ceremony in Bangkok, for their crucial role in the Tham Luang cave rescue.
The pair received the honour in a ceremony at Government House in Bangkok this afternoon, before meeting with the PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.
“It’s very exciting, it’s great to be back,” Dr Harris said.
“We had no idea at the time of the rescue that this was going to be such a big story.”
Drs Harris and Challen have returned to Thailand for the first time since their crucial contribution to the rescue of the 13 young footballers from the Tham Luang cave site in Chiang Rai almost a year ago.
Drs Harris and Challen were also in January jointly named Australians of the Year – one of the country’s highest honours.
The pair will now travel to Chiang Rai to return to the Tham Luang cave site and meet with the MU Pa football team and their families.
“That’s really exciting for us to go and see them and make sure they’re well and see how they’re doing after the rescue,” Dr Harris said.
Severe localised storms predicted for central, north and north-east until April 16
The meteorological office (TMD) says there could be localised severe thunder storms for the entire upper area of the country until Tuesday.
The north, north-east, eastern seaboard and central regions, including Bangkok and surrounding areas could all be randomly hit by tropical thunderstorms.
The TMD office director Phuwiang Prakhammin has warned of rain storms, thunder and lightning, high winds and even hail.
“People were warned to avoid open spaces, not to stand under trees as it is a lightning strike hazard and be careful of unstable advertising hoardings.”
Farmers have also been warned about protecting their livestock and crops in the agriculture-heavy northeastern provinces. Here are the provinces that may be affected…
Northeast: Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Yasothon Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani
Northern region: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Lampang, Tak, Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit and Phetchabun
Central: Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Suphanburi, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, and Bangkok.
East: Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat
SOURCE: Daily News
Forest fires destroy 2.7 million rai of land whilst Chiang Mai is back on top
But a source from the Royal Forest Department says people should not be overly alarmed by such high figures, as the wildfires had swept through dried, flammable materials on the floors of the forests, and most trees will once again start producing new leaves. The source said the fires had also thinned the hard shells of pods, so when the rains come, seedlings can sprout faster.
Unhealthy levels of smog were again recorded in the nine northern provinces and one province in the Central region, with Chiang Mai once again reaching the dubious honour as the world’s Number One worst polluted city.
Pralong Damrongthai, PCD director-general, said hazardous levels of air pollution were detected in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae and Tak provinces, as well as in the Central province of Nakhon Sawan.
SOURCE: The Nation
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