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Thai cave rescuers announced as the Australians of the Year 2019

The Thaiger

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Thai cave rescuers announced as the Australians of the Year 2019 | The Thaiger

Craig Challen and Richard Harris have been awarded as the 2019 Australian of the Year for their contribution the Thailand cave rescue mission.

They were part of the international contingent of skilled divers that brought expertise to the team that were able to figure out a way to safely extract the 13 members of the Mu Pa football team in July 2018.

Suzanne Packer, Danzal Baker and parents Kate and Tick Everett were also acknowledged for their contributions to Australia, taking out the awards in the Senior Australian, Young Australian and Local Hero categories, respectively.

After a team of 13 soccer players became trapped in the flooded network of tunnels, Challen and Harris were asked to take part in a life-threatening rescue operation. The pair worked to save the boys’ lives, and upon a successful extraction both men were awarded with the Star of Courage.



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If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Bangkok

Severe localised storms predicted for central, north and north-east until April 16

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Severe localised storms predicted for central, north and north-east until April 16 | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

The meteorological office (TMD) says there could be localised severe thunder storms for the entire upper area of the country until Tuesday.

The north, north-east, eastern seaboard and central regions, including Bangkok and surrounding areas could all be randomly hit by tropical thunderstorms.

The TMD office director Phuwiang Prakhammin has warned of rain storms, thunder and lightning, high winds and even hail.

“People were warned to avoid open spaces, not to stand under trees as it is a lightning strike hazard and be careful of unstable advertising hoardings.”

Farmers have also been warned about protecting their livestock and crops in the agriculture-heavy northeastern provinces. Here are the provinces that may be affected…

Northeast: Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Yasothon Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani

Northern region: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Lampang, Tak, Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit and Phetchabun

Central: Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Suphanburi, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, and Bangkok.

East: Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat

SOURCE: Daily News

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Air Pollution

Forest fires destroy 2.7 million rai of land whilst Chiang Mai is back on top

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Forest fires destroy 2.7 million rai of land whilst Chiang Mai is back on top | The Thaiger

by Tossapol Boonpat

Bush fires have devastated nearly 2.7 million rai (there are 2.5 Rai in an Acre) of forests in nine northern provinces.

The Mae Hong Son forest fire and haze control centre says that satellite imaging from the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency shows that from January 1 to March 16, 2,680,634 rai was destroyed by wildfires.

The devastation included 102,268 rai in Chiang Rai, 374,313 rai in Chiang Mai, 791,301 rai in Tak, 221,300 rai in Nan, 150,995 rai in Phayao, 176,107 rai in Phrae, 203,889 rai in Mae Hong Son, 470,009 rai in Lampang and 190,452 rai in Lamphun.

As of yesterday, the daily satellite image showed Mae Hong Son had 124 hotspots (10 in Pang Mapha, 17 in Pai, 30 in Muang, 16 in Khun Yuam, three in Mae La Noi, 26 in Mae Sariang and 22 in Sop Moei districts).

But a source from the Royal Forest Department says people should not be overly alarmed by such high figures, as the wildfires had swept through dried, flammable materials on the floors of the forests, and most trees will once again start producing new leaves.  The source said the fires had also thinned the hard shells of pods, so when the rains come, seedlings can sprout faster.

Unhealthy levels of smog were again recorded in the nine northern provinces and one province in the Central region, with Chiang Mai once again reaching the dubious honour as the world’s Number One worst polluted city.

Pralong Damrongthai, PCD director-general, said hazardous levels of air pollution were detected in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae and Tak provinces, as well as in the Central province of Nakhon Sawan.

Forest fires destroy 2.7 million rai of land whilst Chiang Mai is back on top | News by The Thaiger Forest fires destroy 2.7 million rai of land whilst Chiang Mai is back on top | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Air Pollution

Northern smoke haze easing slowly

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Northern smoke haze easing slowly | The Thaiger

Either by hard work, serendipity or pure luck, the smog and haze in the North has eased considerably within the seven-day timeframe set last Tuesday by the Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The PM flew into the smoke-stricken Chiang Mai last Tuesday to meet with northern provincial governors to work out active solutions. During the visit, the premier made clear that he expected clear results within seven days and promised to take action against officials who failed to meet the target.

Prayut also directed relevant authorities, as part of short-term measures, to focus on reducing the number of hotspots, as they were the main polluters. His intervention has led to intensive efforts to combat forest and plantation fires.

The Third Army Area organised more than 100 helicopter flights to help extinguish wildfires during the week. Meanwhile the GeoInformatics and Space Technology Development Agency’s fire-monitoring system reported that the number of hotspots in nine northern provinces had dropped to 231 yesterday – a significant drop from nearly 2,000 on April 2.

Northern smoke haze easing slowly | News by The Thaiger Northern smoke haze easing slowly | News by The Thaiger

While the intensified efforts have apparently improved air quality in the smog-hit North over the last week, the progress is bittersweet.

Siriwat Srisapha, a senior official based in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, revealed yesterday forest-fire responder Wichien Panures had a stroke while helping fight a blaze in the northern province of Lampang.

“While there, he suffered serious stomach ache and headache. Though he was rushed to hospital, he suffered a stroke on the spot and needed to be transferred to a better equipped hospital.”

According to doctors, Wichien is currently in a coma, and his body is showing no signs of response. Doctors believe there is little chance of recovery.

Many locals are complaining of respiratory and related problems with doctors and hospitals reporting a huge influx of patients related to the smog problems. This morning’s Chiang Mai readings from AirVisual.com below.

Northern smoke haze easing slowly | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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