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Pabuk: Now sits over Andaman Sea, moving west

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The south of Thailand awakes this morning to a wet and windy aftermath of tropical storm Pabuk. The storm centre has crossed the Peninsula and now sits west of Phang Nga province as it weakens and continues to move westerly away from the coast.

Gale-force winds, storm surges and flash flooding are still predicted as the remnants of the weakening storm cross the Malay Peninsula.

Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and the coastlines of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Chumpon are still threatened by waves up to three metres high, strong winds and storm surges.

Mountainous inland areas of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, Trang and Krabi remain at risk of flash floods and landslides.

Pabuk: Now sits over Andaman Sea, moving west | News by The Thaiger

The Meteorological Department says the storm made landfall in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Pak Phanang district at 4pm Friday, packing winds at speeds of up to 75 kilometres per hour. Tropical storms like Pabuk are extremely rare for this time of the year in Thailand’s south.

Warnings remain of heavy downpours and strong winds on Saturday for Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries says that, even though the Gulf is calming now that Pabuk has moved on, strong winds and high waves continue to batter the eastern coasts of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan in Surat Thani and the coast of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Pabuk: Now sits over Andaman Sea, moving west | News by The ThaigerPabuk: Now sits over Andaman Sea, moving west | News by The Thaiger

Anond Snidvongs, director of Geo Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, said it detected six metre high waves off the eastern coast of Koh Samui late Friday afternoon.

“Due to its slow movement of the storm, rain will continue over large parts of the South, so people should be aware of forest runoffs and flash floods.”

As Pabuk move west into the Andaman today, Thon predicts rough conditions, but he said the waves would not be as high as they were in the Gulf during the storm. Nevertheless, he advises fishermen and tourists to avoid going out to sea because it was still too dangerous.

Pattani on the southern border suffered less than expected, though there was at least one casualty after a fishing vessel sank in rough seas.

Pabuk: Now sits over Andaman Sea, moving west | News by The Thaiger

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Crime

Krabi man arrested for animal abuse after allegedly killing pet dogs

Caitlin Ashworth

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Krabi man arrested for animal abuse after allegedly killing pet dogs | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A Krabi man was arrested on animal abuse charges after he allegedly shot and killed his pet dogs. The non-profit Watchdog Thailand filed a police complaint yesterday with a statement from a witness.

Police arrested 39 year old Surasak Kongduang at his home in Krabi’s Muang district. Surasak allegedly admitted to police that he shot both his pet dogs in the head and buried them in the backyard. Officers searched his home and found 3 guns and a bow. All weapons are legal and registered, police say.

Surasak allegedly told police that his wife fled and left the dogs behind after an argument a few days prior. He allegedly told officers that his mother is old and he felt bad about leaving her to care for the dogs, adding that one dog is lame while the other is sick.

Surasak was charged with animal abuse and for unlawful discharge of a firearm.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry

Maya Taylor

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Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry | The Thaiger

Leading Thai academics are calling on the government to get a move on and help the tourism industry before it’s too late. Addressing a gathering arranged by the Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion, Kiriya Kulkolkran from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Economics, pointed to the 80% drop in international tourism as a result of the Covid-19 fallout. His estimate includes the first few months of the year when there was actually a functional tourism industry in Thailand.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Kiriya says just 4% of businesses in the tourism sector say they’ve made the same amount or more than they did before Covid-19. She adds that a survey shows employees in the industry are concerned about debt accumulation and “extremely worried about the future”.

Bovorn Subsing, from Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, has backed up the comments, saying tourism workers have seen their wages drop by 60%, while still facing the same, or higher, cost of living. The result is that most are now in debt.

Kiriya predicts the devastation could continue for over 3 years, affecting not just tourism operators but the entire supply chain, as well as new graduates and those seeking their first job. She says that until the sector recovers, the government needs to provide tailored help for businesses, singling out Phuket hotels, who are struggling to survive without foreign guests.

The islands of Phuket and Samui, plus the other ‘tourist’ islands around Thailand, are facing a particular problem as they’re mostly geared for the international tourist market. Domestic tourism, rebooted last July when the local airlines were permitted to fly again, has mostly shunned the popular tourist islands.

One worker at a Phuket hotel, 52 year old Anchisa Sirinanthasak, addressed the forum in support of a possible co-payment scheme for hotel workers. It’s understood most hotel operators are paying employees 62-75% of their normal salary, which works out at around 8,000-9,000 baht per person and is not enough to cover their costs.

Meanwhile, Manop Kaewphaka from Homenet Thailand, a non-profit that protects home-based workers, has called on the government to allow foreign tourists back into the Kingdom and to provide more support for informal workers, in the form of wage guarantees and co-payment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Officials criticised over Covid border screening measures

The Thaiger

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Officials criticised over Covid border screening measures | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is being criticised over its border screening measures after an Indian man, who stayed in Thailand for 3 months, tested positive for Covid-19 in Krabi province while remaining asymptomatic.

Walairat Chaifoo, director of the Epidemiology Bureau, has defended the screening measures by saying the Department of Disease Control has initiated mass tests for those “at-risk” at their workplaces in June, with the results showing no infections. Furthermore, all hospitals per the DDC, are required to monitor those patients with lung infections or respiratory issues, as they are known to be symptoms of Covid.

“We have never lowered our guard for the surveillance system. Mass testing is still going on to detect the deadly virus.”

“But what we have seen more often is many cases of people who don’t show signs of illness or long-time infection. It means the virus still exists in the country and people must not ignore self-preventive measures.”

The 37 year old Indian patient has joined 95% of those who have been diagnosed with Covid without displaying symptoms. Such a finding makes it apparent that a local infection can still occur through an asymptomatic patient. But despite such findings, Thailand remains one of the countries deemed successful in containing the virus. Currently, Thailand has less than 4,000 cases reported with 60 deaths – a number that is far below most other countries. Globally, the cases have soared to 50 million with another projected spike in infections coming in the next 2 months.

The National Vaccine Institute says the kingdom could get vaccinations 6 months after the Pfizer vaccine is launched, in which the government says it hopes to vaccinate half of the population by the first half of next year. No vaccine has yet passed the Phase 3 trials, the final trials before cleared by national health agencies.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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