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More flooding for 2018 – La Nina heads our way

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Similar weather conditions to those that occurred during Thailand’s second most severe flooding in 1995 is predicted for this year, according to weather experts. They are warning that an expected “La Nina” condition will bring more rain and storms than usual to Thailand, and that increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather should be expected as a result of climate change.

Prominent water and climate change experts interviewed by The Nation agreed that Thailand will receive larger amount of precipitation than usual due to the influence of the La Nina phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is expected during this year. They also agreed that this year’s water situation was expected to resemble that of 1995.

PHOTO: NASA Space Place

The year 1995 was one of the wettest years in recent Thai history. As a result of various storms during that year’s rainy season, Bangkok and other provinces in the Central Region suffered from heavy floods for more than two months. The severity of the 1995 flood was only eclipsed by the major flood of 2011.

Thailand Global Warming Academy president Thanawat Jarupongsakul, who is also a lecturer in the Department of Geology at Chulalongkorn University, said that this year would be overly wet due to La Nina. The rainy season is also expected to come sooner than usual and with more precipitation, he added.

“This year will be a La Nina year, which means our region will receive more rain. As of now, we still expect that this year’s La Nina will be a mild one, which is good news, because if the La Nina condition is strong, we may face a severe water situation similar to 1995 or even worse, like 2011,”

Thanawat said. According to the official long-term prediction of the Meteorological Department’s Climate Centre, the ENSO condition will be a mild La Nina during the first three months of this year but the condition is predicted to return to a neutral stage by the end of March.

He also expressed concern about storms that will approach Thailand during the course of this year, which may directly hit Bangkok and cause major floods. “Bangkok is not safe from a major storm and it is possible for our capital to be hit with a big storm, so we should be prepared for such a worst-case scenario,” he said.

“It was widely speculated that many major floods in Bangkok in the past were the result of storms that hit the area around Bangkok.”

He stressed that as a result of climate change, people around the world would face more extreme and unpredictable weather, with more severe droughts and floods both expected. The Utokapat Foundation’s secretary-general, Royol Chitradon, also agreed that this year’s weather condition would resemble that of 1995 and warned that this year’s rainy season would come earlier and last longer than usual.

“The weather condition for this year will be wetter than last year due to La Nina, but I am confident of our improved water management system and believe that the new National Water Resources Management Office will be able to handle the water crisis effectively,” Royol said.

“We have more water management tools and better organised water management policy, so despite [expectations that] this year’s water situation may be serious, I am sure that everything will be under control.”

Paiboon Nuannin, a prominent seismologist from Prince of Songkhla University, weighed in regarding large earthquakes with a magnitude larger than 7 on the Richter scale. Judging by the experience of 2017, he said, more frequent large earthquakes are being predicted during 2018.

“From the records of big earthquakes last year, we can see that there were only seven big earthquakes occurring, which is only half of the average of 15 big earthquakes per year,” Paiboon said.

“From earthquake statistics, [we know that] the year with less frequent big earthquake will normally be followed by a year with more frequent big earthquakes, so it is possible that there will be more earthquakes this year.”

However, he urged Thai people not to get too concerned about this possibility, as Thailand is situated in relatively safe location from the perspective of experiencing big earthquakes, which normally occur in the subduction zone.

Here’s some more info about La Nina.

- The Thaiger & The Nation

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National

Pretties, 500 World Cup punters and ‘influencers’ arrested over illegal betting

The Thaiger & The Nation

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It was only a matter of time before we’d have some arrests related to illegal betting during the World Cup. Among 500 suspects being rounded up, police are also summoning 20 ‘influencers’ who have been posting on Facebook about the ‘Net Idol’ betting page and attempting to persuade youth to engage in soccer betting.

Police have arrested 484 suspects – including eight bookies, 474 punters and two ticket-runners – and seized evidence including 63,360 baht cash, 17 bank account books showing a sum of 343,000 baht, and some football betting tickets worth 210,860 baht, said Metropolitan police deputy commissioner  said on Thursday.

Speaking in his capacity as director of the city’s football gambling suppression centre during the Fifa World Cup 2018 tournament running until July 15, Pol Maj-General Panurat Lakboon says that police had completed legal actions against 11 “Net Idols”. The “pretties” had confessed to reading a script given to them by the people who hired them. Their employers were associated with football gambling websites and the presenters claimed to be unaware that their actions were illegal, said Panurat.

Each of the presenters was sentenced by a court to a one-year suspended jail term and a Bt1,000 fine, he said. Another 20 “Net Idols” would be summoned to face the same legal actions on June 25, he added.

He said police were still trying to identify from their social media accounts some 100 “Net Idols” accused of the same offence.

STORY: The Nation

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National

Krabi’s coastline damaged by strong winds and heavy waves

The Thaiger

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Strong winds and waves have damaged the Koh Kwang Beach in Krabi during the reason crazy monsoon weather.

Somsak Tabbut, a village head man of the Baan Koh Kwang village in Muang Krabi inspected the beach this morning.  The damage runs all along 800 metres of the beach.

Khun Somsak says, “Every monsoon period, every year, strong wind and waves have continued to batter the beach. Before the beach was five metres wide but now the waves have damaged it down to 2.5 metres. Some areas of the beach are down to only one metre.”

“If there is no wave protection wall, we believe that the beach erosion will continue until it reaches the road. This is a danger to motorists as the underlying foundations of the road will slowly get eaten away. Relevant offices should fix this problem urgently.”

“There are many five stars hotels along Koh Kwang Beach. Lots of tourists have visited the beach every year as it is very beautiful. If this problem isn’t fixed it will damaged the tourism image in the future as well.”

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National

Summer solstice – the longest day of the year in Thailand

The Thaiger

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It’s a special day of the year and we’re glad the sun is out so we can enjoy it. And, if all is well, we’ll see more sunshine today than any other day of 2018. So what will you do with all the extra daylight?

The summer solstice is today (June 21) – the longest day in the northern hemisphere. Meanwhile, a halo appeared around the sun in Chiang Mai for close to an hour yesterday causing much excitement.

Chiang Mai locals rushed to take pictures of the phenomenon yesterday after a halo around the sun was seen from the parking lot of Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Center. Many took the opportunity to make wishes. The halo effect took place between 10:45-11:30am.

The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand says that the halo was created by cold air in the lowest strata of the earth’s atmosphere causing dew to freeze and fracture daylight shining downwards. The phenomenon is similar to a rainbow after a rain shower.

At this time of year, the period of daylight lasts longer in the northern hemisphere. The sun rose today at 5:51am and is estimated to set at 6:47pm, totaling 12 hours and 56 minutes in Bangkok, meaning the longest day of the year. Sunrise in Phuket (a little closer to the equator, and west of Bangkok) was at 6.10am and tonight’s sunset is listed as 6.46pm.

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