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Pabuk: Friday awakes with the storm surging up the Gulf coastline

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Pabuk: Friday awakes with the storm surging up the Gulf coastline | The Thaiger

30,000 people are estimated to have been evacuated from coastal districts in Nakhon Si Thammarat whilst some tourists are taking precautions of leaving the Gulf holiday islands, airports close, boats remain at mooring and schools are shut.

Thailand’s southern Gulf coast prepares for winds up to 95kph, heavy downpours and floods. From Nakhon Si Thammarat up to Chumpon provinces, emergency services are on standby as the topical storm surges along the coastline.

The Nakhon Si Thammarat airport was closed last night. The closure affects flights provided by Nok Air, AirAsia and Lion Air. Airlines are scheduling additional flights to affected areas from Sunday.

Meanwhile the Airports of Thailand is instructing airports in Surat Thani, Chumphon, Ranong, Trang and Narathiwat to closely monitor the storm and take measures to deal with its impact. Phuket Airport, whilst not in the direct path of the storm, is on alert and expecting poor weather on Saturday.

Pabuk: Friday awakes with the storm surging up the Gulf coastline | News by The Thaiger

Pabuk is now moving slowly north-west past Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla, whilst heading for Surat Thani and Chumpon – mostly following the coastline.

Pabuk is also expected to bring heavy downpours of up to 300 millimetres daily, plus flash floods and landslides in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Chumphon. Satun, Trang, Krabi and Phuket are more likely to be affected later today and tomorrow.

Wattana Kanbua, director of the Marine Meteorological Centre, also warned of very rough sea conditions, saying waves could reach 7 metres high in the Gulf of Thailand and up to 3 metres in the Andaman Sea.

With strong gales and high waves expected, Wattana said people living along the eastern coasts of Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao, as well as the eastern coast of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla will be hit by a storm surge.

He is suggesting people should stay away from the coastline during the storm.

Pabuk: Friday awakes with the storm surging up the Gulf coastline | News by The Thaiger Pabuk: Friday awakes with the storm surging up the Gulf coastline | News by The Thaiger

More than 30,000 residents of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s six seaside districts have been moving to evacuation centres set up amid concerns that Pabuk will cause severe damage.

Sichon district chief Piboon Nakthippiman said the evacuation operation in his area had been conducted smoothly and that more than 2,400 people have already taken shelter at the Wat Huai Saithong School. He also said the centre was fully equipped with all the supplies and equipment needed to endure the impact of the storm.

All ships in the Gulf of Thailand have been anchored since yesterday, while flights from affected provinces are suspended today.

Tourism on both sides of the peninsula has also been disrupted, with visitors fleeing popular destinations like Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao. Ferry services and boat tours to Koh Phi Phi and other islands in Krabi province on the Andaman Sea were also stopped yesterday and unlikely to be resumed until Sunday. The Similan Islands in Phang Nga have also been closed due to the threat of poor weather from the storm.

Pabuk: Friday awakes with the storm surging up the Gulf coastline | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Nation | The Thaiger | Thai Meteorological Department

Keep up-to-date with the latest 2019 Pabuk storm coverage on The Thaiger.



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Bangkok

Government considers blanket alcohol bans on April 13

Tanutam Thawan

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Government considers blanket alcohol bans on April 13 | The Thaiger

There’s a 24 hour ban on alcohol on the weekend preceding AND the actual election weekend this month. And next month is Songkran with the Government mooting possible blanket bans on Songkran day, April 13.

This year the Government says they want an alcohol ban on the biggest annual holiday for Thais. It’s also part of the week when there is a huge rise in road accidents and road-related deaths each year.

The Department of Disease Control is lobbying the government to suspend alcohol sales from April 13, the actual Thai new Year day, in an effort to reduce the annual road carnage.

The department’s deputy director says the agency will formally submit the proposal to the cabinet next week.

The department cites the annual figures for Songkran, saying that most drink/drive cases take place April 13, the first day of the New Year festivities. The department is dismissing concerns the measure could damage the economy, which depends heavily on tourists and revellers, saying that saving lives is paramount.

“The economy doesn’t rely on a single day,” according to the department’s deputy director.

Government agencies traditionally roll out their ‘seven dangerous days campaign’ each Songkran, setting up checkpoints along major roadways and arterials, cracking down on drink/driving and speeding and, generally, huffing and puffing about the need to curb the toll. But none of the campaigns in the past have done anything to stem the tide of a rising road toll each year.

Last year the government even speculated a total ban on allowing people to ride in the back of pick-ups during Songkran – a move that was quickly quashed by an outcry on social media.

There is already a raft of measures to precent the consumption of alcohol during Songkran, such as banning sales of alcohol at popular locations for water fights. These prohibitions have been widely ignored with little enforcement.

Government considers blanket alcohol bans on April 13 | News by The Thaiger

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Koh Samui

31 year old British man stuck in Koh Samui hospital

The Thaiger & The Nation

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31 year old British man stuck in Koh Samui hospital | The Thaiger

by Jane Tyler – Birmingham Mail PHOTOS: Facebook/Liam Workman

Liam Workman, who bought a one-way ticket to Thailand to “start a new life” last December is now critically ill in a Samui hospital with brain injuries following an alleged a hit-and-run motorcycle crash.

Now relatives of Liam are desperate to raise at least £3,000 (125,000 baht) for medical treatment and fly him back home to the UK Midlands.

He was found unconscious and with head injuries on the roadside on Koh Samui.

His family said the 31 year old desperately needs to be moved to a “more advanced” hospital – but his travel insurer would not cover all the costs as he did not have a licence to ride the motorcycle.

Mr Workman bought a one-way ticket to Thailand at the end of December to “start a new life”, according to the story in the Birmingham Mail.

A cousin, Jade Scoular, says “He had travel insurance but they wouldn’t pay out because he didn’t have a licence to ride the moped (motorcycle) and didn’t have a return flight booked, which invalidated the insurance,” she said.

31 year old British man stuck in Koh Samui hospital | News by The Thaiger

Mr Workman’s Go Fund Me page HERE.

SOURCE: Birmingham Mail

For tips and warnings about riding motorbikes in Thailand read our Top 10 list HERE.

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Koh Samui

Kite protest as Samui airport’s neighbors demand more compensation

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Kite protest as Samui airport’s neighbors demand more compensation | The Thaiger

Ten neighbours living adjacent to privately owned Koh Samui airport, unhappy with compensation offers over the noise, have sent up a fleet of kites in protest to blockade the end of the runway.

Soldiers and police were called to Samui International Airport to sort out today’s protest.

Many of the airport’s neighbours have accepted the offer of 50 million baht apiece as compensation for putting up with the noise, rumbling of jets overhead and cracks in their walls, but some feel the persistent aggravation has a higher price.

When the kites went up near the end of the western runway around lunchtime today, the Samui Aeronautical Radio Centre called Borphut police for help. The police in turn phoned the Samui-based 45th Army Circle.

Troops arrived to find the kites still airborne and couldn’t initially talk the protesters into bringing them down. The residents demanded to talk to airport management.

When police and soldiers offered to arrange and mediate a formal meeting at the police station on March 14, the kites finally fluttered to earth.

Samui Airport is privately owned and operated by Bangkok Airways. Most flights to and from the island are operated by Bangkok Airways.

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