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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Threat from typhoon eases [VIDEO]

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Threat from typhoon eases [VIDEO] | Thaiger
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โ€“ Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Threat from typhoon eases
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: With Typhoon Wutip rapidly heading for a downgrade to a low-pressure ridge yesterday, some Thais heaved a sigh of relief but many remained on the lookout for another coming storm.

Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who chairs the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC), yesterday confirmed that Wutip’s threat had diminished.

“The severity of Wutip is less than initially expected,” he said.

But he added that Wutip would still cause heavy rain in some provinces.

Still at risk of possible natural disasters were Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Kalasin, Nong Khai, Beung Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Loei, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun.

Heavy inundation

Floodwaters in Chaiyaphum have reached between 50 and 70 centimetres since the arrival of Wutip.

“We are now facing the worst floods in half a century,” Poj Piromkij said on behalf of more than 200 families in Tambon Talad Laeng in Chaiyaphum’s Ban Khwao district.

All three main roads to the local villages had been under floodwater several metres deep for two weeks, he said.

“And now Wutip comes with more downpours,” Poj said.

He said the torrents of floodwater were so strong that boats without engines could hardly move.

According to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, floods have now ravaged 25 provinces.

Flood-related deaths during the past few weeks have reached 23 and more than 2 million rai of farmland have been flooded.

One of the hardest-hit provinces is Prachin Buri, which was visited by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday.

Plodprasop said flooding in Prachin Buri should ease within one week, if no more rain arrived.

However, he said a monsoon trough was now hovering over the Andaman Sea, the South and the Gulf of Thailand, bringing more rain.

“If the wind is strong, it may affect Chanthaburi and Prachin Buri,” Plodprasop said.

He remained confident that floods would not hit Bangkok, however.

“We have worked closely with the Bangkok Metropolitan Adminis-tration and we have already implemented efficient flood-prevention steps,” Plodprasop said.

Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, meanwhile, inspected water levels in areas downstream of the Pasak Jolasid Dam in Lop Buri.

He too assured residents of the capital that the situation was not worrying.

“We are ready to deal with the situation, including downpours that will likely fall on the capital [today and tomorrow],” he said.

Deputy Government spokeswoman Sunisa Lertpakawat said the Cabinet had given the WFMC the green light to prepare a draft law to establish a Water Ministry if it believed it was needed to achieve efficient long-term water management.

The approval was granted after Plodprasop told the Cabinet that the Water Ministry would ensure integrated and efficient water management and respond well to the government’s Bt350-billion water-management modules.

The government approved a Bt350-billion budget to overhaul the country’s water-management systems in the wake of the 2011 flood crisis, which claimed hundreds of lives and caused massive economic damage.

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s Thailand news pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest national news updates.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Family sues prime minister, CCSA after Covid-infected relative dies

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo from Kunlasub Wattnaphon's Facebook.

The family of a man who died while infected with Covid-19 is demanding the prime minister, as well as other government officials, pay millions of baht in compensation, citing “negligence” after calls to Covid-19 hotlines went unanswered or were not of help.

35 year old Kunlasub Watthanaphon died on April 23. Kunlasub is said to have contracted the virus from a cluster in Bangkok. Many of the clusters of infections early in the recent outbreak were concentrated in nightlife districts in Bangkok including Thong Lor and Ekkamai.

When Kunlasub developed Covid-19 symptoms, he called the hotline numbers for those who think they make have contracted the virus. If he had received proper treatment quicker, the family says he might still be alive.

“The CCSA announced telephone helplines โ€“ 1330, 1422, 1668, 1669 and 1323 โ€“ for people who suspected they had contracted Covid-19. When my brother developed Covid-like symptoms he called these numbers. However, they were either busy or someone picked up but did not send help right away.”

Kunlasub had documented his illness on Facebook, posting updates, as well as photos and videos, up until the day of his death.

The death of the 35 year old man, who is well known in the esport, or video competition industry, sparked controversy. One person wrote on Facebook after Kunlasub’s death “My friend didn’t die because of a congenital disease. He died because he wasn’t treated in the early days.”

The case was filed at the Administrative Court today. It demands compensation of 4.53 million baht from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration as well as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, his secretary and the prime minister’s office.

The family is also suing Thong Lor entertainment venues, where the first clusters were reported in the recent outbreak, for negligence.

โ€œHad the CCSA imposed a strict lockdown on entertainment venues and banned travel during the Songkran holiday, the latest wave of Covid-19 with over 2,000 new infections daily would never have happened.โ€

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | 8 clusters in Bangkok, Phuket party organisers charged | May 14

Tanutam Thawan

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Foreigners may face a slight delay in receiving their Covid-19 vaccines, The BMA has now confirmed 8 clusters of Covid infection in the capital, Thai Private Hospital Association is now working to offer a variety of Covid-19 vaccine brands to Thais and Patong police have announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour entertainment event swill be charged under Thailandโ€™s Emergency Decree provisions.

 

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Economy

Market down as good US economy drives interest rate fears

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Thai stock market followed the rest of the world down yesterday, but long-term prospects may be looking up.

After US inflation exceeded targets and increased 4%, global stock markets including Thailand plummeted yesterday with fears of rising interest rates. Almost 144 billion baht was traded yesterday with the market at one point diving down 70 points in the late afternoon before recovering to a 23.72 point loss, closing at 1548.13.

2% is a high rate of inflation so the big numbers sparked fears that the US Federal Reserve will reduce quantitative easing and increase interest rate which decreases the market’s liquidity. The US economy is surging with the Consumer Price Index up 4.2% over last year.

The balancing out of the economy will likely push risky prospects like the stock market down while driving up commodity prices like energy and oil. This may hurt the Stock Exchange of Thailand in the short run, but will likely have long-term positive effects as the SET has a large number of energy stocks that will benefit from the market’s change.

Some long-term investors in Thailand fear quantitative easing and the market’s tightening because it drives away foreign investors which in the past made up 30% of the Thai market. But now foreigners only account for 20% so the negative effect should be much less. However, in the normal inflation range of 1 to 3%, the stock market should have a price-to-earnings ratio of 20 and some experts have downgraded it to 18 now.

Eyeing the US, some experts predict that even accelerated quantitative easing won’t come into effect until the end of the year and interest rates probably won’t rise significantly within the next 2 years. Watching the continued effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and US unemployment figures will be key indicators driving the global market up or down.

Even with the stock market down in Thailand, there’s still some good news as Thai corporations listed on the SET expected to cross the 200 billion baht profit threshold this week, after reporting 180 billion baht in the first quarter of the year, with 55% of the market recording a profit.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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