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Pabuk: Now sits over Andaman Sea, moving west

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

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 Thaiger Pabuk: 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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Krabi

Investigation into mine explosion on a Phang Nga Bay bird’s-nest concession island

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Investigation into mine explosion on a Phang Nga Bay bird’s-nest concession island | The Thaiger
by Sittichai Sikhawat 

Police have launched an investigation into an explosion at a bird’s-nest concession area in Phang Nga bay, where one man was killed and another injured on Monday night. The island is Koh Lao Dua, six kilometres north of Koh Yao Noi.

Story HERE (one man has died since The Thaiger story).

25 year old Boodrod Thongdee died following the blast, while 35 year old Somchai Thongdee was injured.

Somkid Thongdee, who was with the two victims at the time, survived the explosion without injury. He maintains that they had entered the area to collect wild orchids. One of the men stepped on a mine planted along the beach.

A local community leader, however, is raising doubts about their claim, saying that locals had long known that the concession area was out of bounds.

(Do tour operators and inquisitive tourists know about the locations? Are there clear and obvious warning signs along the beaches?)

“Some measures have been used to deter thieves,” the community leader said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The day after the blast police found more mines planted in the concession area.

One of them was apparently similar to a device that police had seized from bird’s-nest watchers last year.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Two injured after stepping on suspected mines at a Krabi island

The Thaiger

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Two injured after stepping on suspected mines at a Krabi island | The Thaiger

Two Thai men have sustained serious injuries after stepping on a mine at an island near Ao Nang, Krabi.

The Ao Nang Police were notified about the two men being injured from the incident in Ao Nang at 6pm last night.

35 year old Somchaai Longj sustained injuries on his legs, shoulder and a broken leg from the explosion and was taken to Krabi Hospital. The other injured person was 25 year old Boonrod Thongdee who was taken to a hospital in Phang Nga.

38 year old Somkid Tongdee says that he was heading from Koh Mak in Phang Nga Bay with two others friends to an island near Ao Nang in Krabi to collect wild orchids near a cave.

“Boonrod stepped on something in the ground before we heard the sound of an explosion.”

At this stage police speculate that the bomb might belong to a company who received a concession to produce and farm bird nets. They speculate they might have placed the mines to prevent and deter thieves.

The Thaiger has sought comment from provincial police about the possible presence of live mines on a Krabi island.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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