Thailand prepares for earthquakes

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PHUKET: Pic caption: NREM Minister Suwit Khunkitti called on the public not to panic as Thailand is not situated near major fault lines. [Nation photo]

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry (NREM) has announced that it is including 1,406 villages in 22 provinces as part of a National Earthquake Relief Plan.

These villages, located in 308 districts across the country, are situated on Thailand’s 13 fault lines. The most worrying faults are in Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan district and Kanchanaburi’s Si Sawat district, including the one near the Srinakharin Dam.

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The ministry and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) are jointly planning to implement a long term disaster relief plan to cope with possible quakes in the future.

NREM Minister Suwit Khunkitti called on the public not to panic over the relief plan, saying that the Kingdom was in no way situated on or near the world’s major earthquake faults.

The first phase of the plan will be implemented in villages in the North and Northeast next year, and in the West, central region and the South in 2012.

For further details and a list of ‘Red Zone’ provinces, as well as those in which risk analysis has been completed to date, click here.

Risk analysis has not yet been conducted in Phuket or other neighboring provinces.

Airport queues: hope for Bangkok, silence on Phuket

TTR Weekly
Immigration Division II of the Royal Thai Police will launch what it calls ‘DT-24’ (Departure Team 24 Minutes) in an effort that promises passengers a maximum queue time of 24 minutes to get stamped out of Thailand.

But the project is limited to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and is silent about any future plans for Phuket Airport where queues are long and complaints frequent.

Immigration and security checks were the categories that gained the lowest points in a recent Airport Council International’s Airport Service Quality Survey.

Arrival queues at Immigration checkpoints will also come under scrutiny in the future, Immigration says, to gauge how the queue time can be reduced.

The project at Suvarnabhumi will cost about 40 million baht and the improvements are scheduled to be in place by the fourth quarter of this year.

Thailand in Hawaii for war games

Bangkok Post
Malaysia and Thailand have for the first time joined a major US-led exercise in the Pacific Ocean in which some 20,000 personnel are practicing how to coordinate in a crisis, a Navy officer said yesterday.

Billed as the “world’s largest international maritime war games,” the biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise, or RIMPAC, opened Wednesday for a six-week run off Hawaii.

Thailand, France, Malaysia and Colombia are all new participants in RIMPAC, according to the US Third Fleet, which coordinates the maneuvers.

A total of more than 150 aircraft, 34 ships and five submarines are taking part in the exercise, according to the U.S. military.

Thailand is one of the oldest allies of the United States and this year was the host of the Asia-focused “Cobra Gold” exercises.

Ford focus on Thailand
The Wall Street Journal
Ford Motor Co is making multi-million-dollar investments in two major export hubs in Asia and Africa, as part of an effort to beef up its presence in fast-growing emerging markets.

On Thursday, Ford announced a $450 million outlay to build a new passenger car plant in Thailand. The plant is expected to provide a boost to the Thai auto industry and help an economy racked by months of political turmoil.

The company plans to build its Focus passenger car at the new facility, but unlike a similar plant in China, Ford will mainly export the vehicle to meet fast-growing Asia-Pacific demand for mid-sized autos.

Economists say Thailand’s political conflicts have been confined mainly to Bangkok, and the country’s large industrialized eastern seaboard has been largely unaffected.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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