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North East

Usable water level in Khon Kaen’s main dam dangerously low

The Thaiger

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Usable water level in Khon Kaen’s main dam dangerously low | The Thaiger

One of the north-east’s largest dams is running dry. And the dry season has just begun.

About a year ago, Khon Kaen irrigation officials were discharging excess water through Ubol Ratana Dam (pronounced Ubonrat) to increase reservoir capacity to ease flood problems in Thailand’s northeastern province of Khon Kaen.

Now, the same officials are urging people in the province to use water sparingly and farmers to suspend second-crop cultivation and to turn to crops which require less water.

The director of irrigation and maintenance, Songvuth Kitvoravuth, at the Nong Wai project says the rate of water entering Ubol Ratana reservoir has dropped by 25% since August 2018. There are now an estimated 700 million cubic metres left, with only 125 million cubic metres actually available for use because the balance of 575 million cubic meters must be retained for emergency and other purposes.

Officials have also been told to stop providing mobile water pumps to help irrigate farmland in order to conserve water.

The Meteorological Department says that the average temperatures in northern Thailand, including the north-eastern region, will reach about 40C this summer.

Meanwhile, the Khon Kaen provincial administration is seeking cooperation from people in the province to switch off their air conditioners every Friday from 7 pm-8 pm to save energy.

SOURCE: Thai PBS



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Bangkok

Cabinet waives tolls for 8 days over Songkran break

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Cabinet waives tolls for 8 days over Songkran break | The Thaiger

Thailand’s cabinet has decided to waive tolls on the Bangkok-Pattaya and Bangkok-Bang Pa-in-Bang Phli motorways starting April 10 until midnight on April 18. This takes in the main Songkran break between April 12 – 14 and the annual ‘seven days of danger’.

A Cabinet spokesperson say that a large number of people are expected to leave Bangkok for the provinces during the annual Songkran festival, so the cabinet decided to waive the toll fees to make travel a bit easier and less expensive.

Official holidays for the Songkran festival are from April 12-16, but many families are expected to set out 1-2 days before to avoid heavy traffic on the three main arteries to the northern, northeastern and southern regions.

The Transport Company will be adding extra buses to cope with the increased volumes of travellers and airlines have added flights to the schedule, while more trains will be provided during the holiday period.

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North East

31 injured when bus overturned in Nakhon Ratchasima

The Thaiger & The Nation

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31 injured when bus overturned in Nakhon Ratchasima | The Thaiger
by Prasit Tangprasert

PHOTOS:โนนสูง “อาสา” ฐานหน้าโรงพยาบาลโนนสูง

Thirty one passengers have been injured, two critically, when a Nong Khai-Rayong inter-provincial bus overturned in Nakhon Ratchasima early this morning.

Police and rescue workers were alerted at 2.40am to the scene on Mitraparp Highway in Ban Don Tabaeng, Noen Sung district in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The blue and white air conditioned bus was carrying 41 passengers.

Police suspect that the driver, whose name has been withheld at this stage, dozed off behind the wheel.

This is the third major inter-provincial bus crash within a week around Thailand, that we know of.

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Air Pollution

Specialist clinics for pollution-related symptoms to be set up around the country

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Specialist clinics for pollution-related symptoms to be set up around the country | The Thaiger
The Public Health Ministry says they are now preparing to set up specialised clinics to treat patients suffering from pollution-related symptoms in the northern parts of the country.

“At present, we have just one such clinic in the country. So, we have decided to introduce many more,” according to permanent secretary Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai.

He made the pledge in response to the high levels of choking smog and smoke that has been haunting several provinces of Thailand in recent months.

“We plan to set up pollution clinics in the North and the Northeast before the end of this year,” Sukhum said.

Currently, the country’s only ‘pollution clinic’ is located at Nopparatrajathanee Hospital in Bangkok.

According to the permanent secretary, the Medical Services Department has already prepared a manual on how to set up pollution clinics for hospitals to use.

Certain groups of people face a graver threat than the general population from dust problems: those working outdoors, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, asthma patients, and those suffering respiratory disorders.

Disease Control Department deputy director-general Dr Kajohnsak Kaewjarus said about 22,000 people had sought medical help about symptoms that could be associated with smog and air pollution.

“The most common symptoms concern respiratory disorders, heart and coronary-artery disease, eye inflammation and inflamed skin.”

Health Department director-general Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn said people should try to protect themselves.

“Minimise exposure to dust. Keep your home clean. When going outdoors, wear a facemask. And if you develop health problems, go see a doctor,” she said.

Specialist clinics for pollution-related symptoms to be set up around the country | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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