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500 year old temple shaken in Nan earthquake this morning

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500 year old temple shaken in Nan earthquake this morning | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Tourwatthai.com

The Nan province, in far north Thailand, on the Laos border, was the epicentre for an earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude on the Richter scale. The tremor shook the province, and other parts of Thailand, at 6.50am, local time today.

The US Geological Survey report that the quake struck 10 kilometres below the surface about 92 kilometres northeast of the main Nan city area.

Several buildings in Nan, including a 500 year old ordination hall in a Wat (temple), were damaged by the quake. Laos residents near the border also reported the quake although reports of damage have been limited at this stage.

Cracks appeared on a border patrol police school and teacher lodgings in Chalerm Phrakiat district, the Government Savings Bank office in Tha Wang Pa district and the ubosot of Wat Phra That Khao Noi, which is located on a hilltop in Tambon Chaisathan of Muang district, according to reports on Thai PBS World.

Local officials said that cracks appeared in the foundations of the ubosot and the temple is waiting for fine arts officials to arrive to assess the damage, adding that the temple suffered serious damage in a quake 57 years ago. The temple’s abbot, Phra Maha Charun Sirithammo, said the tremors were so strong that he and the other monks had to run out of the buildings in fear they would collapse.

Kathayuth Chupoon, the managing director of Hong Sa power plant in Laos, reported that several buildings in the plant’s compound were damaged, but officials could not yet gain access to assess the damage due to safety concerns.

In Thailand’s north-eastern province of Khon Kaen, medical personnel and patients were rapidly evacuated from Ratchapruek Hospital this morning, after strong vibrations were felt.

Shakes were felt as far south as the capital this morning with many people contacting The Thaiger alerting us to the tremors.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Crime

12 people arrested for allegedly illegally crossing Thai-Myanmar border

Caitlin Ashworth

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12 people arrested for allegedly illegally crossing Thai-Myanmar border | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

12 Thais were arrested by Chaing Rai Immigration Police for allegedly illegally crossing the Myanmar border back into Thailand. The arrests follow a small coronavirus outbreak in Northern Thailand while Myanmar reports hundreds of new Covid-19 cases each day.

Over the weekend, a 29 year old Thai woman tested positive for Covid-19 in Chiang Mai after visiting the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She recently returned to Thailand from Myanmar where she worked at a bar in Tachileik. 2 other women, ages 23 and 26, worked at the same bar tested positive for Covid-19 after returning to Thailand, Chiang Rai public health officials reported today.

Of the 12 people recently arrested for illegally crossing the Thai-Myanmar border, 4 of them were arrested yesterday after a woman made a post on Facebook saying her and her friends used a natural route to cross into Thailand. They allegedly told police they were working illegally in Myanmar.

8 other Thai women were arrested today for illegally crossing the border from Tachileik into Chiang Rai. They allegedly told police that they each paid 6,500 baht to Myanmar traffickers to avoid border checks.

The women told police that most Thais returning home from Myanmar were in the country working at entertainment venues.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Northern Thailand

Young monk killed by wild elephant while meditating

Caitlin Ashworth

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Young monk killed by wild elephant while meditating | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A young Buddhist monk was found dead on a mountain in the Northern province Kamphaeng Phet. Reports say the 21 year old was killed by a wild elephant while he was meditating.

The monk walks down the mountain everyday at 6am to receive his daily alms, according to the village headman Kraiwan Nontibut in the Saeka district. When the monk didn’t show up, Kraiwan and villagers searched for him and found him dead with serious injuries that appeared to be caused by an elephant.

“He did not show up this morning , so I walked up the mountain… I was shocked to find him dead.”

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Drugs

Buri Ram province chosen as first site for medical marijuana harvesting

The Thaiger

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Buri Ram province chosen as first site for medical marijuana harvesting | The Thaiger

Thailand’s northeastern province of Buri Ram has been selected to be the first to harvest medical marijuana at home under a ministry-sanctioned pilot project. The community that has been selected by the Cannhealth Institute, is located near a hospital in the Isaan province and features 10 houses in the provinces Khu Muang district.

Each house would be allowed to grow 6 cannabis plants in its garden, with Dr Kitti Losuwanrak, the director of Cannhealth Institute, saying they need to use non-contaminated soil and water for harvesting because “we only accept quality, chemical-free cannabis”.

Kitti says the project is part of the aim to allow ordinary citizens to grow medical marijuana and is being led by the Minister of Public Health. However, the project still needs to jump through a few hoops to get government approval – one being from the Food and Drug Administration as growing marijuana is still illegal, despite it being for medical use.

“Villagers can grow cannabis in their homes, as all they need is sturdy fences.”

The Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, and leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, has always been a strong advocate of relation of rules related to cannabis and marijuana in Thailand. The Bhumjaitahi party’s votes are crucial to the government’s fragile coalition.

The community was selected because villagers showed the interest and ability to follow ministry rules, according to Bangkok Post. If approved, the north eastern province will become the first in the country where people can grow medical cannabis in their homes without getting into trouble.

“The Ministry of Public Health want to observe the feasibility of homegrown marijuana by using this pilot as a test case. If the outcome is encouraging, the ministry is going to expand the project to other provinces.”

The government approved the legalisation of medical cannabis at the end of 2018, but it is only approveable by the state. Now, the health ministry is lobbying to amend the narcotics law to allow people to grow. Kitti says if the test community is approved, it could start the process of growing by early 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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