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Phuket

Phuket drought set to continue, driest early quarter in 10 years

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket drought set to continue, driest early quarter in 10 years | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The forecast for isolated, scattered showers across Phuket in the coming days will offer little reprieve to the island’s ongoing dry spell, which is Phuket’s driest January-to-March period in a decade, experts have warned.

“The average rainfall during January to March over the past 10 years is 277.71mm, but this year we received only 63.3mm,” said Phuket Meteorological Officer Suchart Yonchamroen.

“That is the lowest recorded rainfall for this period in 10 years,” he added.

This year’s early quarter contrasts with that of last year, when a record 541.8mm drenched the island, Mr Suchart noted.

There is a 10-20% chance of drizzle in Phuket now, and the forecast is for the maximum temperatures to soar to 36 and 37 degrees Celsius for most of the coming week (click here).

The annual rains usually arrive in late April, but if they are late, the water situation for some parts of Phuket Town may be critical, Mr Suchart said.

Phuket Municipality Deputy Mayor Thavorn Jirapattanasophon said that water supplies for Phuket Town, Samkong and Chaofa and Sakdidet areas are enough to last until the end of April.

However, he urged residents to save water until the rains arrive, especially those living in the Chaofa and Sakdidet areas.

“These areas are supplied by the Suan Luang reservoir, and that reservoir is dry,” he said.

“Normally when we do not have enough water in Suan Luang reservoir, we buy water from a private company. This year that company is selling some of its water reserves to the Provincial Waterworks Authority [PWA], so we won’t be getting as much.

“I urge everyone to help conserve water or store water at home.

If need be, affected areas in Phuket Town will be placed on water rations, Deputy Mayor Thavorn warned.

“If the situation becomes critical, we will reduce water pressure, ration the water so it is turned on and off at set times each day, and supply water to some areas with a water truck,” he stated.

Mr Thavorn hoped that such drastic measures would not be necessary, as he has a backup plan of buying water from the PWA.

“We have signed a contract to buy water from the PWA, so if they have enough water we should have enough water too,” he said.

PWA Manager Pisak Chonlayut confirmed to the Phuket Gazette that the water on hand in Bang Niew Dum reservoir and at the Bang Wad Dam is enough to support Phuket Province until the rains arrive.

“We have enough water to supply the whole province for three to four months, even though there hasn’t been much rain,” Mr Pisak said.

Mr Pisak is so confident of his water reserves that he told the Gazette, “Don’t worry. We will have enough water to freely celebrate Songkran.”

However, like Phuket Town Deputy Mayor Thavorn, Mr Pisak also has a backup plan.

“In the unlikely event that our water reserves aren’t enough, we will buy more from Loch Palm and Chaofa reservoirs. We’ve already signed a contract with the owners of those supplies,” he said.

“We have about 5.9 million cubic meters of water in Bang Niew Dum reservoir to support Thalang, Cherng Talay, Pa Khlok, Koh Sireh and Rassada. Last year at this time we had 7.2mn cubic meters.

“There are about 2.9mn cubic meters at the Bang Wad Dam to support Phuket Town, Patong, Chalong and Rawai. Last year at this time there were 3.7 million cubic meters.

“For the Kata and Karon areas, we have contracted a private company to supply desalinated sea water at a rate of about 12,000 cubic meters per day,” he said.

— Saran Mitrarat

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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