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“New’ reef bigger than any in the region

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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“New’ reef bigger than any in the region | The Thaiger

PHANG NGA: Marine scientists are still charting the extent of an uncharted reef off Tai Muang, Phang Nga, covering, they say, at least four square kilometers – far larger than any known reef in the region.

The discovery of the reef, made in the first week of January, was documented by Songpol Tippayawong, Head of the Thailand Marine and Coastal Conservation Unit (MCCU) of the WWF (formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund). The MCCU were surveying a reef nearby when they were tipped off by local fishermen.

“We never thought the reef would be so large,” said K. Songpol, who is a Phang Nga native. “I have never even seen a reef that is [even] one kilometer square in Thailand, and so far we have surveyed four square kilometers of this new reef. It is actually bigger; we have yet to survey the exact boundaries.”

Describing the reef, K. Songpol told the Gazette, “It was great – very big and healthy. It is in good condition and only about 1% of it was damaged by the tsunami.

“It is completely different from the [reefs at] the Similans, Surin or Richelieu – it is not sloping, and it is home to species never before seen in Thai waters as well as species [that before were] seen only in the Similans, such as a rare type of sweet lips.

“We also found one rock [formation] with over 20 lobsters in it. We named that site ‘lobster condo’,” he said.

Although the MCCU has yet to complete its assessment of the reef, the team has so far recorded more than 30 genera of hard corals and 112 species of fish from 56 families, including the parrot fish Chlorurus rakaura, which has never been seen in Thai waters before.

For now, K. Songpol is keeping the location of the reef a secret in order to protect it. “I’m not telling anyone exactly where it is,” he said, adding that the reef must first be surveyed, the coral’s condition assessed and the boundaries of the reef established.

“We believe it will have the capability to boost tourism in the area [but only] when there is a good management plan [in place]. We are in the middle of doing a field survey and we are collecting scientific data in order to zone the area and put down some mooring buoys.”

K. Songpol expressed concern that enforcement of environment conservation laws was lacking, which might jeopardize the reef. “There are a lot of good laws in Thailand. However, enforcement needs to be more effective. It’s manageable, but we have to get involvement from all state authorities and other interested parties.”

He explained that a management strategy was crucial to protecting the reef. The strategy should include raising awareness among local people, zoning and the reintroduction of some rare species of marine life, promoting tourism with participation from local villagers, and continual coral restoration. “We have already introduced 100 giant clams [at the new reef],” he said. – Sylvie Yaffe



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Phuket

Power outage in parts of Chalong tomorrow

The Thaiger

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Power outage in parts of Chalong tomorrow | The Thaiger

PHOTO: PEA

Residents of Chalong should be aware that there is a scheduled power outage from 9am to 4.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday) as the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) continues its work on high power voltage systems in the area.

The blackouts will affect the areas from the Shell petrol station on Patak Road to Bayshore law office opposite Chalong Beach Hotel on Wiset Road.

As always, the PEA apologises for the inconvenience.

For more information contact the Operations and Maintenance Department of the Provincial Electricity Authority on 07 652 1099 (24 hr)

 

 

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Phuket

Free water schedules for residents in Patong and Rassada

The Thaiger

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Free water schedules for residents in Patong and Rassada | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: PWA

Authorities have announced schedules of free water distribution for residents in Patong and Rassada.

In Rassada by the Phuket Waterworks Authority (PWA)

  1. Koh Siray, from 8pm to midnight every day at Supitcha housing estate
  2. Soi Kingkaew and Soi Honsaithong, from 9am to 3pm every day.
  3. Nattakamon housing estate, one time per three days.
  4. Thep Buri housing estate, one time per three days.
  5. Sri Suchart 2 housing estate , Rock Garden housing estate and Kietsin hosuing estate, one time per three days.

In Patong by Patong Municipality

Free water is available on Phra Baree Road, Phisit Koranee Road and Nanai Road on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am, onward starting today.

Residents are told they need to bring water buckets.

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Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large

The Thaiger

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Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo, wanted and believed to be living in Greece

Local Phuket police are yet be informed of the latest in an international hunt for a Greek alleged murderer Dimitrios Chairopoulos. He remains wanted as a suspect in the murder of local beautician 43 year old Niramon ‘Bea’ Aewkaew in Phuket during February.

Cherng Talay police say they want an Interpol Red Notice issued so that they can track down and arrest 42 year old Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, wanted for the murder. Bea and Dim were seen leaving their accommodation on February 11. It was the last time Bea would be seen alive.

Mr Chairopoulos was recorded as clearing Immigration at Phuket International Airport to board a flight to Dubai in the hours after Ms Niramon was last seen alive. He boarded an Emirates flight EK0379 to Dubai, departing Phuket at 2am. Police also confirmed that he arrived in Dubai on the same day.

“If he comes back to Thailand he will be arrested,” said Chief Col Sen Kwannimit of the Cherng Talay Police.

A request for a Red Notice was submitted with the Foreign Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Police on February 19 but, for now, no formal international’s notice has been published..

Cherng Talay Police confirmed that Dim was seen leaving the room at a guesthouse in Bang Tao where Ms Niramon’s body was found on Saturday, February 16.

In the days leading up to her murder her family had been desperately trying to contact her.

‘Bea’ was the eldest of 5 children from Phatthalung province and had been working in Phuket as a beautician at the time.

One of her sisters, May’ was contacted on February 15 by one of Bea’s workmates trying to locate her.

Neither May or Bea’s other sisters, relatives or friends were able to contact her. Bea had just moved to a new house so nobody knew where she was living. Another sister, Pichy, spoke to friends and was able, using Google Maps, to locate the guesthouse she was staying.

The owner of the room told the family that the air-conditioning was on in the room but there was no response. When the owner returned with a key he informed the family that Bea was found on the bed with a black cloth stuffed in her mouth and her hands and feet bound.

CCTV footage shows the couple leaving the room in the afternoon of February 11, the last time that Bea was seen alive.

Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | News by The Thaiger

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos with his daughter from another relationship

What we know about the alleged murderer?

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, who remains at large and thought to be in Greece, worked as security in a night club in Athens. He already had a daughter to another woman in Greece.

During his relationship and marriage with Bea he was said to be ‘controlling’ and ‘jealous’ by members of Bea’s family. A close family friend told The Thaiger that the family had concerns for Bea’s safety and were ‘uncomfortable’ with her ongoing relationship and marriage with Dim.

“We tried to get to know him at family functions but he was not easy to know and seemed very possessive of Bea,” said one of the close family members who asked not to be named.

“He did threaten to kill her if she ever left him and Oh, another of her sisters, went with Bea to file a report of the threats at the Cherng Talay police station at the time,” they explained.

That report was made to police in 2016. A year later the pair married and were still married at the time of the murder.

“He would drive past the beauty shops that Bea worked at and spy on her.”

The family claim that, apart from his own possessions, he also stole Bea’s phone before he headed to the Phuket International Airport on the evening of the murder.

So where is Dimitrios Chairopoulo?

At this stage the Greek Embassy has made no comment about the case or followed up with Greek Police about the pursuit for the fugitive man.

There are currently approximately 58,000 valid Red Notices worldwide of which only 7,000 are public. An Interpol Red Notice has not been issued to alert international police or Immigration officials to be on the look-out for Dim.

For now, the alleged murderer of Bea – an innocent Phuket beautician, beloved sister and family member – remains at large, most probably in Greece.

If anyone has any information about Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo’s whereabouts or information that may lead police to arrest him, please send a confidential message to The Thaiger.

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