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Pabuk: The worst is over as southern Thailand mops up

The Thaiger



Pabuk: The worst is over as southern Thailand mops up | The Thaiger

The potential for any further problems associated with Tropical Storm Pabuk are diminished as the remnants of the storm continue to move westward and out to sea away from the Andaman Coast.

The general consensus is that, whilst unseasonal and packing high wind speeds (for Thailand), the storm’s impact was less than predicted causing minimal damage to infrastructure in the region.

The Thai Meteorological Department say that the storm made landfall in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Pak Phanang district at 4pm Friday, packing winds speeds of up to 75 kilometres per hour. The wind speeds, whilst high for Thailand, were not ‘cyclonic’ or as high as a ‘typhoon’. But the unseasonal nature of the storm, arriving in January, was a very rare weather event.

The last major tropical storm to hit the southern coastal Gulf region in January was all the way back in 1962. It started, just like Pabuk, as a weather system off the western coast of the Philippines.

It also made landfall near Nakhon Si Thammarat on October 25, 1962, as winds peaked at 95 kph.

Harriet claimed the lives of at least 769 residents in the south of Thailand, with around 142 people reported missing, presumed dead, and 252 severe injuries.

Pabuk: The worst is over as southern Thailand mops up | News by The Thaiger

The difference this time was the vastly improved weather prediction systems, the preparedness of officials and emergency responders, precautionary evacuations, closure of marine activities and improved building codes. You can imagine in 1962 the bamboo and shanty structures that would have adorned the shores of the southern coastal regions half a century ago.

Government officials left little to chance in preparations for Pabuk in the wake of several high profile marine safety issues in 2018 which attracted a lot of negative media about Thailand’s commitment and readiness to look the growing number of tourists visiting the Kingdom.

Whilst there will be potential for winds and high waves today (Saturday), the danger is fading as the storm makes its way into the Indian Ocean and away from the Phang Nga coastline.

Surat Thani, Phang Nga and Phuket all forecast winds of up to 30 kph today and potential for rain storms, but the weather will continue to improve in all southern regions throughout Saturday.

The Thaiger expects authorities to lift its ban on the movement of tour boats and shipping around the Andaman sometime today which will allow the resumption of tourist and commercial traffic from tomorrow (Sunday).

Meanwhile, hundreds of stranded tourists were stuck at Koh Samui Airport, as Pabuk made its way through the region. Flights to the island were cancelled – as well as boats – leaving thousands of holidaymakers who hadn’t earlier fled the island stranded.

The Thaiger will continue to keep you up to date with any important announcements or milestones in weather events as the day goes. It is expected than most airline traffic will return to normal today. Surat Thani and Koh Samui airports were closed, among others, during the height of storm alerts yesterday.

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Government considers blanket alcohol bans on April 13

The Thaiger



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



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



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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