Thai PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha says the Kingdom of Thailand has made a donation of 5 million baht to the relief program to assist victims of Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami. International efforts to assist the Indonesian government to deal with the devastating natural disasters gathered pace amidst concerns over hundreds of thousands of survivors with little food and water.
Thai PBS reports that General Prayut handed over the donation to Indonesian Ambassador to Thailand Ahmad Rusdi at the Government House yesterday.
Gen Prayut expressed confidence in the Indonesian government’s ability under President Joko Widodo’s leadership, in coping with the effects of the disaster and in leading the country to recover from the crisis.
He also thanked Indonesia for coordinating the repatriation of 32 Thais who were evacuated from quake-stricken Palu town on Sulawesi island and flown back to Thailand. He said his government is in talks with Thai business operators with investments in Indonesia about securing more donations and help for Indonesia.
The Public Health Ministry said it has prepared a team of 25 health personnel to be dispatched to Indonesia.
Meanwhile, desperate residents on the west coast of Sulawesi island were scavenging for food in farms and orchards as the government struggled to overcome shortages of water, food, shelter and fuel in a disaster zone with no power and degraded communications.
Chaos has loomed at times with angry people in the region’s main city of Palu, 1,500 km (930 miles) northeast of Jakarta, looting shops and thronging its small airport, scrambling for any flight out.
The official death toll from last Friday’s 7.5 magnitude quake has risen to 1,407, many killed by tsunami waves and landslides it triggered. Officials say the toll will continue to rise.
Most of the confirmed dead have come from Palu and losses in remote areas remain unknown. Communications are down and bridges and roads have been destroyed or blocked by slips.
But international efforts to help are gearing up, after the government overcame a traditional reluctance to take foreign aid.
“The government of Indonesia is experienced and well-equipped in managing natural disasters, but sometimes, as with all other countries, outside help is also needed,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said in a statement.
SOURCE: Thai PBS
Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew
The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.
Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.
Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport!
“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals,” wrote local news website The Edition.
The incident has sparked fresh debates on the environmental and social costs of the Maldive’s tourism-propelled growth (sounds familiar?).
“The question remains on how much of Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically,” the website said.
The airport, which has a 2.2 kilometre, 40 metre-wide runway, was inaugurated in August last year. The UAE-funded project was built on Maafaru, one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll, which is a traditional nesting place of the marine turtles.
Once a green turtle hatches and heads into the ocean, it rarely returns to land. When they reach sexual maturity, they travel long distances to go back to their natal place to mate and lay eggs.
The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is on the list of endangered species of animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
SOURCE: The Nation
East Sulawesi rocked by 6.8 magnitude tremor – tsunami warning
A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Indonesia yesterday triggering a tsunami warning, soon retracted, sending panicked residents fleeing to higher ground.
The quake struck off the east coast of Sulawesi island near where a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami around the city of Palu killed more than 4,300 people in September last year.
Indonesia’s disaster agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal communities in the island’s Morowali district, east Sulawesi, where residents were advised to move to elevated grounds. The warning was later lifted.
The tremor off the eastern coast of Sulawesi is on the other side of the island from last year’s disaster-hit Palu, where residents still felt the quake despite being hundreds of kilometres away.
The force of last year’s quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction, a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.
The sprawling Indonesian archipelago is dotted with more than 100 volcanoes, including one in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands that erupted in late 2018 and unleashed a tsunami that killed more than 400 people.
SOURCE: The Nation | AFP
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