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Phuket Media Watch: Flood, landslide warnings for South Thailand

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

South on alert for floods, landslides; Phuket not affected
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: Weather conditions in the lower Gulf of Thailand will get rough over the next few days, the National Disaster Warning Centre (NDWC) warned this morning.

It also warned of possible flash floods, landslides and mudslides in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Phatthalung, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat through Monday.

Phuket, located on the South’s west coast, was not included in the warning and is in fact enjoying good weather, albeit graying skies, as this is posted to the Web this evening.

“All concerned authorities [on the east coast] need to monitor the situation closely,” Wanchai Sakudomchai, director of the Southern Meteorological Centre (East Coast), said, adding that the South was facing the impact of a low pressure ridge moving into Malaysia.

He said the waves in the Gulf of Thailand could be up to four metres high along the South’s east coast.

“Small fishing trawlers should not go out to sea,” he warned.

Floods have already wreaked havoc in the southern provinces this year.

In Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district, many locals are preparing to evacuate for the third time this month to escape possible flooding.

The level of the Sungai Kolok River was reportedly rising to dangerous levels this morning.

In Sukhirin district, runoff from the mountains had already damaged some sections of the Sukhirin-Narathiwat road, prompting local officials to put up warning signs alerting motorists to the possible dangers.

Nearly 200 families have moved to higher ground in the same district to stay dry as the downpours trigger flash floods.

In Satun, several consecutive days of heavy rain left the districts of Ma Mang and Khuan Ka Long submerged. And many canals in Khuan Don district are already overflowing, inundating some areas.

Provincial authorities have raised “red flags” and are encouraging residents to evacuate to higher ground.

Songkhla has also been affected, with up to 100 households along the Utapao canal in Hat Yai being inundated for a second time this year.

However, the flash floods that hit several communities on the outskirts of Hat Yai have now receded, while water on Kanchanawanit Road, which connects Hat Yai and Sadao districts, has been decreasing.

The road is well known to many of Phuket’s exaptriate residents who use it for visa runs to the Malaysian border.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Drugs

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

In a major bust on the Mekong River, notorious for drug smuggling, border patrol police seized 920 kilograms of dried, compacted cannabis from a boat along the Nakhon Pathom riverbank, bordering Laos.

Police were tipped off about a large shipment of drugs being trafficked across the Thai-Laos border. Police spotted a boat around 4am yesterday. When police moved in, men onboard the boat jumped onto a smaller boat and sped off. Police found 23 sacks filled with 1-kilogram packages of compressed cannabis.

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: MGR Online

In the recent months, police have seized more than 5 tonnes of cannabis. While the Thai government has been loosening measures on cannabis, allowing parts of the plant with low traces of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be used in food and medicinal products, trafficking cannabis is still illegal. Cannabis with high amounts of THC is still classified as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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Protests

At least 22 people arrested at Bangkok protest, officer dies of heart failure

Caitlin Ashworth

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At least 22 people arrested at Bangkok protest, officer dies of heart failure | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

At least 22 people were arrested during the Bangkok protest yesterday, which turned violent as pro-democracy activists marched toward the prime minister’s residence, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. An officer died during the rally, which the human rights group says was due to heart failure.

Some protesters threw ping pong bombs and firecrackers in the violent clash with police, the group says. Police armed in riot gear fired rubber bullets and hit protesters with batons. Water cannons and tear gas were used to break up the crowds after some protesters had breached the barricade of shipping containers that had been blocking the way to the prime minister’s residence at a military base on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, according to the Bangkok Post. At least 33 people, including 23 police officers, were injured.

Out of the 22 arrested, 4 were minors who were picked up from the Din Daeng police station by their parents and will need to report to the Juvenile and Family Court this afternoon, according to the human rights group. The detained protesters face charges of fighting, blocking or harming a police officer.

Protesters from REDEM, or Restart Democracy, which is a spin off of the Free Youth group, were marching to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s residence to call on monarchy reform and an end to Thailand’s military influences in government.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai PM says Covid-19 jab is safe, urges people to get vaccinated

Maya Taylor

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Thai PM says Covid-19 jab is safe, urges people to get vaccinated | The Thaiger
PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has assured people the Covid-19 vaccine is safe as he called on citizens to get vaccinated. Nation Thailand reports that the PM was speaking at a vaccination drive taking place at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, in the central province of Nonthaburi.

It’s understood Prayut himself will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, having been deemed too old for China’s Sinovac jab. However, it is unclear when he might be vaccinated, with the delay put down to issues with the AstraZeneca paperwork.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was the first person in Thailand to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, when he got the Sinovac jab yesterday. It’s understood he has not experienced any adverse reaction. A number of other politicians and prominent medics also got the vaccine, including Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control and the Public Health Deputy Minister Sathit Pitutecha.

The PM says the vaccines are safe and is calling on everyone to get inoculated when the time comes.

“The government and medical personnel have overcome this crisis many times so far. This shows that Thailand can contain the spread of Covid-19 effectively.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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