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Two dead in Phuket mudslide

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Two men are dead and a third injured following a mudslide at a hillside construction project during heavy rains in Patong yesterday afternoon.

The slide hit at around 1:30pm as workers used a backhoe and other heavy equipment to excavate terraces in a hillside plot of a resort project on Soi Sang Krasee off Nanai Road in Patong.

Patong Police, Kusoldharm Foundation workers and medical staff from Patong Hospital went to the scene about 2pm.

Construction workers were able to pull 45-year-old project foreman Thawisak Nukaeo alive from the mud, but he later died at Patong Hospital.

It took the workers about 20 minutes to find and unearth the body of a 35-year-old Burmese laborer identified only as “Neung” from the spot where he was buried alive.

Another Burmese worker, identified only as “Sorn”, also suffered injuries requiring hospital treatment.

In a bitter irony, the mudslide was apparently triggered by the workers’ efforts to construct a retaining wall at the site.

Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukhabaan visited the site and said the upslope soil was thoroughly saturated after four days of almost continuous heavy rain.

Patong Mayor Pian Keesin has ordered a temporary work stoppage at the site to check the project’s environmental impact assessment report to ensure that the construction was properly permitted and proceeding according to regulations.

The landslide came just days after the Phuket office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation announced it would hold emergency landslide preparedness training for police, medical staff and emergency rescue workers in Patong on June 28 and 29.

A recent island-wide study conducted by the Mineral Resources Department found that many parts of Patong are at high risk of landslides due to all the hillside construction taking place there.

The heavy rains have also caused severe flooding in many parts of Patong, including in the area now referred to by many as “Nanai River” and other chronic problem spots, such as along Sirirat Road.

The low-lying stretch of the hilly Phra Barami Road where a sinkhole formed last year remains intact, but floodwaters, as deep as half a meter, are now flowing over the road during the heaviest rains, creating traffic jams and treacherous conditions for motorists, particularly those on motorbikes.

The rain has stopped in Patong this morning, but the 24-hour-forecast by the Meteorological Department calls for “almost widespread” thundershowers covering 80% of Phuket, with isolated heavy to very heavy rain.

 

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

Phuket

ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in Phuket are close to a “critical” low

Tanutam Thawan

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FILE PHOTO

Covid-19 patients in severe condition may have to been transferred from a government hospital in Phuket to a private hospital as the number of available hospital beds at public intensive care units in Phuket is close to a “critical” low, according to Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Chalermpong Sukontapol.

There are 9 ICU rooms at the Vachira Phuket Hospital. 5 are being used for Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms while the other 4 rooms are for those with mild symptoms and are under observation before being moved to another bed.

“If the 9 rooms are full of severe symptom cases, that will be a big critical stage. We may need to transfer our patients to other provinces or private hospitals, which may involve additional costs.”

He says 50% of the Covid-19 patients in Phuket are asymptomatic while 30% have mild symptoms and 10% have severe symptoms. For most of those with severe symptoms, the virus has moved to their lungs and they are in need of special equipment, like ventilators, to help them breathe and Charlempong says those patients need to be under close observation.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive (cheaper for Phuket officials anyway).

The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… โ€œWe want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,โ€

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

Tanutam Thawan

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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