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Day Four – Road toll much higher than last year

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Day Four – Road toll much higher than last year | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Songran road death toll has reached 248, with 2,557 injured in 2,449 accidents during the first four days of the so-called seven dangerous Songkran days (Wednesday to Saturday).

The figures marked an across-the-board increase over the same period last year, which saw 226 deaths, 2,457 injured and 2,385 road accidents. On Saturday alone, there were 603 accidents, killing 57 people and injuring 626 others. Some 44 per cent of the road accidents stemmed from drunk driving and 26 per cent from speeding. A majority (80 per cent) of the crashes involved motorcycles, according to the Road Safety Centre.

From April 11 to April 14, Chiang Mai reported the highest number of accidents – 99 – and the highest number of injuries – 109. Nakhon Ratchasima reported the most number of deaths – 17. Only eight provinces remain death-free: Yala, Ranong, Lop Buri, Satun, Samut Songkhram, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu and Anything. Phuket has reported on road death – a Chinese tourist on Saturday.

As many holidaymakers were expected to start their return journey to Bangkok and neighbouring provinces for work today, the authorities will concentrate on highway checkpoints, roadside service points, pit stops and ensure public transport drivers’ sobriety, the centre said.

Meanwhile, the NCPO and Army deputy spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong reported yesterday that the authorities had seized a total of 7,067 vehicles from drunk drivers in the first four days of monitoring road accidents over the Songkran holidays.

Apart from seizing 5,019 cars/trucks and 2,048 motorcycles from April 11 to 14 in an effort to enforce drunk-driving laws, the authorities also seized driver’s licences from 16,588 motorists and motorcyclists. The seized vehicles would be returned to the owners after the seven-day accident-monitoring period, she added. Colonel Sirichan reminded people that very hot weather was forecast for Sunday to Wednesday, with maximum temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius and summer storms expected in upper Thailand plus Bangkok and surrounding areas. She said the Army and related agencies would help affected residents where necessary.

National police deputy chief Pol General Weerachai Songmetta, meanwhile, presided over an oath-taking rite in Samut Prakan province in which 380 drunk-driving offenders vowed not to repeat the offence, before listening to a monk’s sermon. They were then brought to court for legal action.

SOURCE: The Nation



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Air Pollution

Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog

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Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai’s current poor air quality and smoke haze is raising concerns on the potential impact on tourism as Thailand’s Songkran water festival approaches.

Smog has been a yearly occurrence in Northern Thailand, but this year the situation appears to be the worst with Chiang Mai topping the air pollution ranking and the media tracking daily results.

But La-iad Bungsrithong, president of the Thai Hotels Association (Northern Chapter), says there appears to be a short-term decline in the market.

However, she attributes the current performance to March being part of the traditional low season rather than the pollution, adding that there has been no booking cancellation from leisure or MICE guests.

The Songkran festival typically sees leisure demand for Chiang Mai from South-east Asia, Europe, China and Thailand. According to La-iad, room occupancy in April last year was 65 per cent, reaching 85 per cent during the Songkran period (April 12-14).

She expects similar figures for Songkran this year but also greater competition arising from new hotels around Chiang Mai and Airbnb.

Similarly, a spokesperson of Standard tour, Somchai Sandnee, said the company’s business has not been affected by the air pollution. Chinese tourists are less perturbed by smog issues than political turmoil and recent events such as the boat accident in Phuket last year, Somchai pointed out.

Chotechuang Soorangura, associate managing director of NS Travel & Tours, also says he doesn’t see the smog having an impact on sales.

“The smog is considered an annual situation and our company always (issues) an advice to customers. In the case where customers really want to visit Chiang Mai, we will suggest they limit their stays in the city in favour of other provinces instead such as Sukhothai,” Chotechuang explained.

SOURCE: ttgasia.com

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Bangkok

Summer storms on the way for north, north-east

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Summer storms on the way for north, north-east | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

People living in the north of Thailand are being warned to brace themselves for some summer thunderstorms until Wednesday. The Meteorological Department issued an alert today saying the storms will be caused by a high-pressure system from China that will interact with the hot weather over upper Thailand.

Outbreaks of summer thunderstorms will be likely from today to March 27. Thundershowers, gusty winds and hail are possible first in the Northeast and the East then the Central, and the North region.

Are you affected?

March 23-24

North: Kamphaengphet, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Phetchabun.

Northeast: Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Udon Thani, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

Central: Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Lop Buri and Saraburi.East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo and Chachoengsao.

March 25-27

North: Kamphaengphet, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Phetchabun.

Northeast: Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Loei, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

Central: Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Saraburi and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya including Bangkok and its vicinity.

East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo and Chachoengsoa.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Air Pollution

Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai is back on top of the world’s list of most air-polluted cities, according to the AirVisual.com website.

AirVisual reports at 1.45pm that the air quality index (AQI) of Chiang Mai on Saturday stands at 471 (##!!??!!) , much higher than the 100 AQI safety standard (the WHO lists the safety limit as 50 on the AQI scale). It’s been about 350 all day today.

In its six scale listings Chiang Mai is now listed at the bottom as ‘Hazardous’, the scale doesn’t go any lower.

The northern capital has been covered with white, mostly bushfire smoke and smog, for almost two weeks prompting Chiang Mai residents to wear N95 air-filter marks outdoors. Or stay indoors.

The Chiang Mai University, the Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna and Chiang Mai provincial administration confirmed that the air quality in the city remained critical.

Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution | News by The Thaiger

 

 

 

 

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