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Phuket tsunami buoy won’t be redeployed in 2010

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket tsunami buoy won’t be redeployed in 2010 | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Thailand’s Andaman Coast will be without tsunami direct detection capability when the sixth anniversary of the 2004 disaster arrives in late December, the Gazette has learned.

Aurasa Paenghom, general manager of Bangkok-based firm Raydant International, which built and maintains Thailand’s tsunami early warning system, estimates that it will take several months before the tsunami buoy that went adrift in early June can be redeployed in its old position, 600 nautical miles northwest of Phuket.

Raydant, which runs the system under a contract with the National Disaster Warning Center, said the company has already placed a request with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) for funds to purchase 4,500 meters of replacement cable to moor the buoy to the seabed some 3,000 meters beneath the surface.

Once funding is approved, the special cable must be manufactured abroad and shipped to Thailand. It will take the company three months to produce the cable and another month for shipping, she said.

Ms Aurasa thinks the damage to the buoy suggests that a large vessel tied up to it, causing the cable to snap under the increased force. The buoy itself was not badly damaged, she said.

The mishap reduces to zero the number of functioning tsunami direct detection units off the Thai coast.

The Indian government has installed a small network off its coast, but it is not part of the US Government’s National Data Buoy Center, which allows anyone to monitor water column and tsunami event data in real time over the Internet.

Three high-tech tsunami direct detection units were donated to Thailand and Indonesia by the US government after the tsunami, but all are now either lost or inoperable due to damage or lack of maintenance.

The original Thai buoy fell silent after going three years without a battery change, even though the unit was designed to require a new battery every year.

It was replaced late last year by a new buoy paid for by the Thai government, just in time for the fifth anniversary of the tsunami.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of Chinese tourists to arrive under the new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

Natthapon Nakpanich, from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He points out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”.

Natthapon says there will be a limit of 300 on the number of foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14-day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14-day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

It’s expected around 5,000 rooms will be needed to accommodate tourists arriving under the SETV scheme, once they’ve finished their quarantine period.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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