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Wildfires flare in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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RASSADA, PHUKET: Phuket firefighters have been battling wildfires along the bypass road in recent days.

The first broke out in a field opposite Tesco-Lotus in Rassada at about noon on Sunday.

Rassada Municipality dispatched four firetrucks and 20 firefighters to try to douse the flames, which were fueled by thick, dried out vegetation.

“As we arrived there to put it out we saw one guy who had been burning trash in the area fleeing the scene,” one firefighter said.

Assisting were about 20 officers from the Phuket Provincial Wildfire Prevention Unit and some 10 local volunteers.

Fortunately the flames did not spread to structures on nearby Songkhla Road, which is separated from the lot by a two-meter-high concrete wall. A recycling warehouse on the road nearby is filled to capacity with paper, plastic and other flammable materials.

Firefighters thought they had the fire under control late Sunday, but it reignited three more times: yesterday morning, again at about 8:30 last night, and again at around noon today. The latest flare-up was extinguished at about 2pm today.

Over 100,000 liters of water have been used in the operation: 60,000 liters for the first fire, 20,000 for the second and 30,000 liters for the most recent.

“It is very difficult to stop the fire because we can’t see it smoldering beneath the surface, and this is why it continues to reignite… The best method is to spray the entire area to ensure everything is saturated,” one firefighter told the Gazette.

An even larger fire broke out at about noon today opposite the Chevrolet showroom on the bypass road northbound, also in Rassada.

Firefighters continue to battle the blaze this evening, but say they are sure it can be contained. Already about 30 rai have burned up.

There have been 15 fires in Rassada this month alone.

“This year is worse than last year because the weather is very hot and dry. When people burn their trash, it is very easy for the fire to spread and become uncontrollable,” the firefighter said.

Earlier this month, there was a fire at a recycling plant in Wichit.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat

 

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Phuket

Phuket sets quarantine requirement for those entering the province, some exempt

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via PR Phuket

A 14-day period in quarantine is required for those entering Phuket who are either not vaccinated against the coronavirus or have not been tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival.

Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong made the announcement yesterday, adding they will no longer require Covid-19 tests on arrival. Phuket News notes that the required tests were problematic, particularly for truck drivers who were delivering essential items to the island on a regular basis.

“If you stay in Phuket shorter than 14 days, then you will be in quarantine as long as you stay on the island… From today on, no rapid tests anymore. Arrivals without any documents must get the quarantine order at the checkpoint.”

Piyapong says staff from the Phuket Public Health Office will hand out quarantine orders to those entering the province. The a copy of the order will be sent to the Emergency Operation Centre, which will follow up with those who are in quarantine at their homes or hotels.

The main Phuket checkpoint will only be open from 8:30am to 8:30pm. Only delivery vehicles can enter outside of those hours.

Those only entering Phuket for a short day trip are exempt from the quarantine rule, according to the Phuket News.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Fishermen find space debris off the coast of Phuket

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Phuket Andaman News

Local fishermen found space debris, possibly from a satellite or space shuttle, on the seabed just 6 metres below the surface by Koh Ael in Phuket. At first, no one knew exactly what it was.

Specialists from a Navy explosive ordinance disposal unit were first called to look at the round, hollow metal object which was about 45 centimetres in diameter. 3rd Naval Area commander Vice Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet told reporters at a press conference that the team took photos of the object and found it appeared to be a rocket fuel tank, possibly used to launch a satellite or shuttle into space. He said it matched photos online.

Both the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, or GISTDA, and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, agree that the object was most likely a fuel tank for a rocket.

Since the fuel tanks usually contain harmful chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen, divers examined the space debris to make sure there were no chemical leaks before bringing the object to shore and taken to the navy headquarters. The space debris will be taken to the GISTDA to be studied.

“If other objects similar to this one are found elsewhere, people should not touch them. They could contain hazardous chemicals. They should immediately inform Region 3 Thai-MECC or local officials.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Phuket

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Tembela Bohle for Pexels

Phuket officials are serious about disease control orders banning parties and gatherings with friends, especially when alcohol is involved. They’re so serious, that apparently they’re searching for 4 foreigners who were seen drinking beers at a restuarant in Rawai.

Police raided the restaurant yesterday at a complaint from a woman who works for the local district office. She was out on a campaign pushing for locals to wear face masks when she noticed that some people were sitting at the Roxanne restuarant, having a beer. Photos as well as a video was sent to the police showing a group of 4 foreign men and 2 Thai women sitting at the restaurant together.

Along with police officers, local officials from the Muang District Office and Rawai Municipality showed up to the restuarant. Reports say the men were seen driving off on motorcycles just as as the team of 10 officers and public officials arrived. The beer was still on the table when police arrived.

Officers took the owner of the restaurant and 4 of the employees to the Chalong Police Station. The owner is facing charges of breach of the provincial order banning the sale of alcohol and allowing the consumption of alcohol on the premises.

Just last week, police raided a home in Cherngtalay, breaking up a gathering of 6 people. 2 men from the UK who work in Phuket were taken to the police station and fined 6,000 baht whilst police were still waiting for another 4 people to present themselves at the police station.

As part of the disease control measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, preparing Phuket for a possible Covid and quarantine-free reopening in July, officials have banned social activities and gatherings, with the expection of traditional events like funerals. Phuket authorities have warned that foreign residents who break the rules could be subject to being deported.

SOURCE: Phuket News

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant | News by Thaiger

 

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