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Tsunami survivors gather for the 14th anniversary of the Boxing Day tragedy

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Tsunami survivors gather for the 14th anniversary of the Boxing Day tragedy | The Thaiger

Services remembering the tsunami victims were held in six southern coastal provinces of Thailand, because they all shared in this tragedy.

On the 14th anniversary of Thailand’s only recorded tsunami, relatives of those killed by the waves gathered yesterday to remember their loved ones.

“I lost 11 family members in that tsunami and I could not locate all their bodies,” Pranee Kaewdecha said, as she brought white roses to a tsunami memorial at Ban Nam Khem in Phang Nga province. She said laying flowers was the only thing she could do to have the feeling as if her family members were still with her.

Ban Nam Khem was among the hardest-hit spots when giant waves crashed onto the shores of Thailand’s Andaman provinces on December 26, 2004.

After the waves disappeared, more than 5,000 people were also gone.

“I have decided to never step into seawater again because the sea took away my four year old child,” said a grief-stricken mother.

David Rucker, an American, said he still could not get over the heartbreaking loss inflicted by the tsunami on Thailand. While his family members and close friends were visiting Phang Nga, devastating waves hit and killed them.

“Because of what happened, I have come here every year to mourn the passing of my loved ones,” he said.

In Krabi’s Muang district, more than 500 people gathered to make merit for those who died on what much of the world calls the Boxing Day Tragedy. Religious services were conducted based on Buddhist, Christian and Islamic beliefs.

“We come here not only to remember those who are gone but also to keep in mind that one should be well prepared to deal with natural disasters that may arise,” Deputy Krabi Governor Somkuan Khan-ngern said.

In the aftermath of the deadly waves, early-warning towers have gone up in Thailand.

“In Phuket alone, we have 19 such towers,” Phuket’s disaster-prevention-and-mitigation chief Praphan Khanprasaeng said.

According to him, each tower’s warning signal can cover an area within a radius of one or two kilometres. The signal is tested every Wednesday.

“Our early-warning system for a tsunami threat is 100 per cent efficient,” Praphan said.

He said if a tsunami threat was detected, the National Disaster Warning Centre would issue an early warning and people in risky areas would be evacuated. Praphan added that evacuation routes had already been prepared to ensure swift action in times of emergency.

The memorial services in Phuket attracted people of various nationalities including Chinese, Japanese, Americans, Australians and Germans. Some more intimate beach memorials were also held by groups of friends.

Although Thailand has not yet seen another tsunami, tsunamis have hit its neighbouring Indonesia several times this year. The latest tsunami tragedy to strike Indonesia took place last Saturday, killing hundreds of tourists and locals.

Tsunami survivors gather for the 14th anniversary of the Boxing Day tragedy | News by The Thaiger Tsunami survivors gather for the 14th anniversary of the Boxing Day tragedy | News by The Thaiger Tsunami survivors gather for the 14th anniversary of the Boxing Day tragedy | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Phang Nga

Mahout charged after Italian tourists injured from elephant attack

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Mahout charged after Italian tourists injured from elephant attack | The Thaiger

A mahout has been charged after an elephant attacked an Italian tourist in Phang Nga yesterday. Phang Nga livestock officials say the elephant was too young for elephant rides.

A 29 year old Italian tourist, and his 31 year old travel companion, remain in Phang Nga hospital this morning following the elephant attack yesterday.

Read more about the attack HERE.

Chief of Phang Nga Livestock Saroj Jittakarn says, “The elephant has not reached maturity where it fully capable of carrying passengers. The incident happened as the elephant is not familiar with elephant rides with tourists. This incident is an indication of the risks involved.”

“Female elephants are more suitable for elephant rides but there is not enough elephant rides available in Phang Nga due to the rise in tourist numbers. Some untrained elephants are currently being used.”

Thung  Ka Ngok Deputy Chief Police Lt Col Siriwat Inyim says, “26 year old Kanjanapong Karnwijit, the mahout of the elephant named ‘Tanwa’, has been charged with a reckless act causing serious injury.”

“We are questioning the owner of the elephant camp as we continue our investigation.”

Mahout charged after Italian tourists injured from elephant attack | News by The Thaiger Mahout charged after Italian tourists injured from elephant attack | News by The Thaiger

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Phang Nga

Italian tourists injured in goring attack by bull elephant in Phang Nga park

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Italian tourists injured in goring attack by bull elephant in Phang Nga park | The Thaiger

A 29 year old Italian tourist, and his travel companion, are in a Phang Nga hospital this morning following an elephant attack.

The man was seriously injured yesterday when a 12 year old male elephant, that he and a friend were riding as part of a tourist activity in Phang Nga’s Mueang district, suddenly shook them to the ground and gored him in the stomach.

The incident took place at 10.30am yesterday morning at an old oil-palm plantation in Tambon Song Praek that is now a private park for elephant riding.

Trofa Manuel sustained serious injuries in the incident, while his compatriot, 31 year old Francesco Di Megli, received minor injuries.

Both were rushed to Phang Nga Hospital, where they are recovering from their injuries.

The 26 year old mahout Kanchanapong Kanwichit, who sustained some bruising after falling from the elephant but sought no treatment, told police that his bull elephant, named Plai Thanwa, had attacked the tourists towards the end of a 30 minute ride. He says the assault had been totally unprovoked.

He said the elephant had suddenly and violently shaken off the riders, before stabbing a tusk intoMr Manuel. He claims the attack was unusual and out-of-character behaviour, as Plai Thanwa, now chained in a safe, secluded spot at the park, was normally good-natured.

The elephant had never attack anyone before, and was not currently in rut (on heat), Kanchanapong added.

Italian tourists injured in goring attack by bull elephant in Phang Nga park | News by The Thaiger Italian tourists injured in goring attack by bull elephant in Phang Nga park | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Phang Nga

Hong Kong property tzars team up for new Phang Nga development “Aquella”

Bill Barnett

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Hong Kong property tzars team up for new Phang Nga development “Aquella” | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

Two of Hong Kong’s leading entrepreneurs Allan Zeman and Richard Li are developing a mixed-use project in Thai Muang, Phang Nga named Aquella.

The initial phase of the development includes a par 72, 18 hole golf course, resort pool villa residences with two to four bedroom unit configurations back of a massive land site that offers over 2.5 kilometres of white sand beach.

Previously, the approximate 1,000 rai site was the home of the Thai Muang golf course. After acquisition the course was closed, and the master planned Pinetree project that was to contain a marina and luxury Park Hyatt hotel stopped when land zoning issues changed in Southern Phang Nga.

Today, the new golf course has been reconfigured and Zeman’s Paradise Group who developed Kamala’s posh Andara ultra villa resort in Phuket are collaborating with Li’s Pacific Century Premium Developments (PCPD) group.

South West Phang Nga hosted some of Asia’s most significant luxury villa sales in the mid 2000’s given it’s close access to Phuket International Airport, over the Sarasin Bridge.

Changes in the zoning regime stunted the area’s growth over the past decade but a new wave of interest has been born in projects such as Charn Issara’s Baba Beach Club.

Land prices in Koh Pilai and Koh Kloy have sharply escalated in recent months on the announcement of a second Greater Phuket airport by Thai aviation authority AoT.

That said, the area has a rich history in demonstrated luxury residential sales in projects such as Aleenta and Sava.

With Phuket bursting as the seams, and prime oceanfront plots limited, the recent transaction of the former greenfield site of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve has indicated positive sentiment.

Hong Kong property tzars team up for new Phang Nga development

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