Rescuers are poised to reach the so-called ‘Pattaya Beach’ chamber in the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province. Efforts continue to locate the young football team missing in the cave complex for over a week.
Despite strenuous efforts, the very difficult conditions have meant the rescuers have not yet been able to make any contact with the 12 missing boys and their football coach stranded deep inside Tham Luang Cave.
Officials said today that divers have now been able to reach a point 400 metres from the third chamber and estimate that their current position is 500 metres away from the ‘Pattaya Beach’ chamber, a location where any survivors are likely to be waiting for rescue.
Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn, said today that efforts continue to be being focused on draining the cave, with the Royal Thai Airforce deploying its C-130 carrier to transport additional essential equipment to the site.
Earlier this morning, members of the medical team on site held a meeting with rescuers. They speculated that survivors would be exhausted and would not be able to join divers on a swim to safety. They resolved to send in food supplies and nurse them back to better health before making the return trip.
Officials also continue to deliver oxygen to those operating inside the cave, while maintaining the water pumps and power generators. Both are currently operating normally.
Meanwhile, the plan to transport the survivors has now evolved into using helicopters as the only mode of transportation.
Officials have laid down a plan, saying the helicopters, which are from both the Royal Thai Police and the Military, will fly to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital. The flight time is expected to be between 15-30 minutes.
Medical personnel are reportedly on standby at the hospital to receive survivors when extracted from the cave. The hospital has also allocated space for the treatment of the missing 13 on the 8th and 14th floors. Drills have been staged to make sure the actual event proceeds smoothly and safely.
Government Spokesperson Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd has indicated that the PM has stressed that it is important to conduct the transportation safely and plan for unexpected events as part of the search. He expressed his satisfaction with the latest drill, as the transport time has been much improved from the previous trial runs .
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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