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PABUK: Latest information on the path of the storm across the Gulf

The Thaiger

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PABUK: Latest information on the path of the storm across the Gulf | The Thaiger
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Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada has designated six seaside districts of the central southern coast province as disaster zones and ordered the evacuation of residents by tonight. The evacuations are a safety precaution he said.

He says that all schools in these districts will be closed today, while schools in the main city area of Nakhon Si Thammarat will be used to shelter evacuees.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department report that tropical storm Pabuk will make landfall in the upper Southern Gulf coast provinces tomorrow (Friday) with a maximum wind speed of 65 to 90 kilometres per hour.

It is expected that areas in the storm’s path will suffer damages from strong gales and intense downpours of up to 300 millimetres. Waves as high as 7 metres are expected in the Gulf of Thailand.

The storm was currently moving westward at a speed of 10 kilometres per hour and has already entered the Gulf of Thailand. Its maximum wind speed was 65km per hour at that time.

The storm appeared to have already hit the southernmost part of Thailand yesterday afternoon, as a large band of heavy rain was detected by the Meteorological Department’s radar in Narathiwat province. The storm has started to veer northwards and expected to reach landfall around the Nakhon Si Thammarat/Chumpon coastline. Koh Samui and its nearby islands are also directly in the path of the storm.

PABUK: Latest information on the path of the storm across the Gulf | News by The Thaiger

Here’s the latest information direct from the TMD…

“On 3 January 2019, tropical storm “PABUK” is over the lower South China Sea located at latitude 6.2 degree north, longitude 105.5 degree east with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/hr. The storm is moving west slowly through the tip of Indochina expectedly in the lower Gulf of Thailand today.

It will move pass Chumphon and Surat Thani on the evening of January 4, 2019. By January 3-5, it will affect the Southern provinces with more rain and some torrential downpours. People should beware of the severe conditions.

January 3-4:

Isolated torrential downpours with strong wind in Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarart, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Krabi, Trang and Satun.

January 4-5:

Isolated torrential downpours with strong wind in Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarart, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun.

The strong winds are forecast for both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea with waves up to 3-5 meters high in the Gulf and 2-3 meters high in the Andaman Sea. People in the Gulf should be aware of inshore surges. All ships should keep ashore until January 5, 2019.

SOURCE: The Nation | The Thaiger | TMD

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

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Tourism

Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry

Maya Taylor

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Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry | The Thaiger

Leading Thai academics are calling on the government to get a move on and help the tourism industry before it’s too late. Addressing a gathering arranged by the Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion, Kiriya Kulkolkran from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Economics, pointed to the 80% drop in international tourism as a result of the Covid-19 fallout. His estimate includes the first few months of the year when there was actually a functional tourism industry in Thailand.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Kiriya says just 4% of businesses in the tourism sector say they’ve made the same amount or more than they did before Covid-19. She adds that a survey shows employees in the industry are concerned about debt accumulation and “extremely worried about the future”.

Bovorn Subsing, from Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, has backed up the comments, saying tourism workers have seen their wages drop by 60%, while still facing the same, or higher, cost of living. The result is that most are now in debt.

Kiriya predicts the devastation could continue for over 3 years, affecting not just tourism operators but the entire supply chain, as well as new graduates and those seeking their first job. She says that until the sector recovers, the government needs to provide tailored help for businesses, singling out Phuket hotels, who are struggling to survive without foreign guests.

The islands of Phuket and Samui, plus the other ‘tourist’ islands around Thailand, are facing a particular problem as they’re mostly geared for the international tourist market. Domestic tourism, rebooted last July when the local airlines were permitted to fly again, has mostly shunned the popular tourist islands.

One worker at a Phuket hotel, 52 year old Anchisa Sirinanthasak, addressed the forum in support of a possible co-payment scheme for hotel workers. It’s understood most hotel operators are paying employees 62-75% of their normal salary, which works out at around 8,000-9,000 baht per person and is not enough to cover their costs.

Meanwhile, Manop Kaewphaka from Homenet Thailand, a non-profit that protects home-based workers, has called on the government to allow foreign tourists back into the Kingdom and to provide more support for informal workers, in the form of wage guarantees and co-payment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Visa

Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77kaoded

A Thai woman in Koh Samui allegedly ripped off at least 8 foreigners by offering visa extension services and taking off with the money. A group of foreigners reported the scam to officers at the Bo Phut police station, saying they placed deposits ranging from 10,000 baht to even 100,000 baht, but the services were never fulfilled.

A man posted a video on Facebook warning people about the alleged scam and saying he believes the woman stole around 10 million baht. A Thai TV news report shows a J&R Accounting business card for “Joy” which advertises accounting and work permit services.

“Be careful with your visa… There are a lot of people that just want your money and they don’t give the service.”

Apparently, some of the foreigners paid a deposit 6 months ago. They say Joy kept reassuring them that their applications processing. Now that visa amnesty is up, the foreigners worry about potential problems with immigration, Thai media reports.

Police told Thai media that this isn’t the first time they’ve heard of Joy. They issued a summons for her in the past. If she does not respond to the second summons, the police may go to court and request a warrant for her arrest.

A little over a week ago, at the neighbouring island Koh Pha Ngan, a language school allegedly ripped off more than 100 foreigners, claiming they were able to issue them with a 1 year education visa.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Tourism

Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO | The Thaiger

Phuket and Samui are both islands, fed mostly by arrivals at their international airports. Of course, both remain closed and the islands are trying to survive on a dribble of domestic tourists. And there’s no sign of hope any time soon for the future. Bill Barnett is ‘Mr Hotel & Hospitality’ for Thailand and the region. What does he see as the short and long term solutions? Your comments are also welcome, below. You can also watch our stark report about how empty Phuket actually is HERE.

Bill is the MD and leading consultant forc9hotelworks.com

 

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