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Phuket

Weather blocks roads, cuts power and phones

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Weather blocks roads, cuts power and phones | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The wet and windy weather of the past few days has caused flooding in several parts of the island, and knocked out power and telephones in a number of locations. Several roads have also been blocked by fallen trees or utility poles. The Bypass Road around Phuket Town was blocked this morning by a fallen tree, while another tree fell across a road on Koh Sireh yesterday, blocking traffic to and from Baan Laem Tuk Kea for two hours. The Patong-Kamala road was closed briefly this morning after a landslide knocked a telephone pole onto the road. The road has since been reopened, but police have warned motorists to avoid it if possible. Police in Phuket Town reported this afternoon that Phang Nga Rd was flooded between Thepkrassatri Rd and Montri Rd and was closed while the municipality tried to unblock storm drains. They also recommended that drivers avoid Wichitsongkram Rd between the Mobil petrol station and Surakhul Stadium; Narisorn Road in front of Satree Phuket School; Phuket Road from the Metropole roundabout to Saphan Hin; and Thung Kha Road. These areas are low-lying and subject to continuing flooding. In Patong, police reported flooding in both Thaweewong Rd and Rat-U-Thit Rd. Although the flooding on Thaweewong has subsided, stretches of Rat-U-Thit and Soi Sai-Namyen remain under water. Motorists are advised not to travel to Patong unless the trip is essential, so as to help ease congestion caused by the flooding. An advertising hoarding in Patong for the new Lotus store fell onto power lines, causing a small fire and cutting power between the Patong Merlin Hotel and Simon Cabaret. Power failures were also reported in Baan Kuku in Phuket Town; between the deep sea port and the aquarium in Ao Makham; in Soi Tontarn in Rawai; and in Baan Mai Khao in Thalang. Phones were cut in Baan Kuku, along Nai Yang Beach, and in part of Karon Beach. The wild weather is being caused by a tropical depression which originated in the South China Sea. Wind speeds of up to 45 kilometers an hour have been recorded, and the clouds dumped 98.3 millimeters on Phuket yesterday. The depression continues to move southwest into the Andaman Sea at about 11 kilometers an hour. Winds can be expected to pick up speed again as the clouds move out over the ocean. Wave heights of up to four meters have been recorded in the seas around Phuket, so small boats should not venture out, an advisory from the Meteorological Center stressed. The swells are likely to last even after the storm has passed, so swimmers are urged to restrict themselves to hotel pools until the red flags are removed from the beaches.

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

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Phuket

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes | The Thaiger
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Police in Phuket are looking for a suspect who residents say has been stealing women’s underwear. Surveillance camera footage from a resident’s home shows a teenager driving through a neighbourhood, then stopping and stealing ladies panties that were hanging up to dry.

One resident told Phuket News that numerous residents in Thalang’s Baan Lipon area have reported missing underwear.

“Recently neighbors have been reporting that many items of their underwear have been stolen. Many residents are worried about the man hovering around here trying to steal underwear.”

A man told the Phuket News that his wife’s underwear was stolen and he’s now worried about his family’s safety. Another resident says he’s also concerned.

“As a resident in this area, I am worried about the safety of the local residents. Underwear has been stolen, something else could happen as well.”

In a similar case back in October, a 46 year old man was arrested for allegedly breaking into homes in Ratchaburi and stealing women’s underwear. Police says they seized 70 pairs of panties.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket pushes to open doors to vaccinated international tourists by October

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Phuket pushes to open doors to vaccinated international tourists by October | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to open its doors to vaccinated, international tourists by October, pending the government’s approval. The local government’s initiative, named Phuket First October, proposes vaccinating a majority of its population over 18 years of age in time for the high season. The move would allow thousands of vaccinated Europeans to enter Thailand, while locals would be protected from the virus symptoms.

Protecting the locals would include achieving herd immunity in time for reopening the province, which would need 70% of the population to be vaccinated. The local government’s goal would not wait for the government to roll out vaccines, and instead, use its own resources to vaccinate the public. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association told the Thai Enquirer over the phone, that they won’t stop pushing for ways to help the tourist destination survive.

“I think there must be a solution that balances controlling the outbreak and stimulating the economy.”

The island is also looking to waive the 14 day quarantine, with PM Prayut recently changing his stance by announcing that a quarantine waiver is being considered for those vaccinated tourists.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Initial research shows that around 250,000 citizens per month must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

Initially, the province’s request was denied by the federal government, but business leaders are not giving up hope. Recently, they submitted a petition to PM Prayut to appeal the denial citing lack of income, mounting debts and increasing financial disputes due to over eight months without international or domestic flights.

The second wave has also plummeted tourism even lower than before, as the industry has seen a 93% drop in visitors since the same time last year.

Phuket has already kicked off its vaccine rollout as of yesterday, after receiving a delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab. Priority is being given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials that have been exposed to Covid-19 patients.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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