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Thailand joins the relief effort as more than 6,000 people displaced in Laos flood

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand joins the relief effort as more than 6,000 people displaced in Laos flood | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Nation

Flooding in southern Laos is starting to subside as the search continues for missing people with more than 6,000 people displaced from their homes following the flash flood on Monday. The collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam in the southern Lao province of Attapeu has left at least 26 people dead and an estimated 100 missing as of yesterday.

International support from both the private and government sectors is pouring into Laos after the country’s southeastern Attapeu province was hit by a severe flash flood following the collapse of a hydropower saddle dam.

Thai company Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Pcl, which is involved in the joint venture to construct the failed Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam, has given an initial assistance of approximately 5 million baht to Laos, the company’s public relations department said yesterday.

Company executives have flown to the affected area to stand by to provide further assistance. It has also sought support from Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) to supply utilities to help with disaster relief for the thousands of people left homeless.

The dam project, scheduled for completion in 2019, was reported as being around 90 per cent complete at the time of the collapse. Thailand was supposed to be a major customer for the hydroelectric power generated.

Egat director Viboon Rerksirathai yesterday said the agency had sent 500 bottles of clean water, 500 sets of survival kits, as well as 2 million baht to Laos. Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday met with Lao Ambassador to Thailand Seng Soukhathivong and handed over the aid.

The three armed forces have been put on standby to send men and relief supplies to Laos to help in the search of missing people and to ease the sufferings of victims of floods.

Hundreds went missing and more than 6,000 people were displaced by immediate flooding after the collapse of the saddle dam on Monday night.

An Air Force C130 transport plane and a BC725 helicopter are on standby at Ubon Ratchathani airport and both aircrafts have the permission from Lao government to fly to Pakse airport once they are needed.

Deputy spokesperson of the NCPO Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said PM Prayut Chan-o-chad had instructed the army to make necessary preparations, including medical team, survival bags, daily necessities and public disaster relief equipment in case there is a request for help.

The Thai Red Cross, however, is acting as a go-between and is accepting donations to pass on to Laos.

The collapsed dam is part of a hydropower project by the Vientiane-based Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company. It is a joint venture between South Korea, Thailand, and Laos and was established in 2012. According to the Korea Herald, South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday ordered the dispatch of an emergency relief team to Laos.

Vietnam, also a neighbour of Laos, has offered assistance, although there have been no reports of Vietnamese casualties in the disaster, according to local media VnExpress International. Vietnam’s defence ministry has instructed some of its forces to prepare to assist Laos on request, VnExpress reported.

Thailand joins the relief effort as more than 6,000 people displaced in Laos flood | News by The Thaiger Thailand joins the relief effort as more than 6,000 people displaced in Laos flood | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Nation, Thai PBS, The Thaiger

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Singapore

Gardens by the bay – Singapore’s horticultural showcase

The Thaiger

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Gardens by the bay – Singapore’s horticultural showcase | The Thaiger

You don’t have to be a green-thumb to be amazed by this architectural and horticultural wonder.

Gardens by the Bay is an independent organisation responsible for developing and managing one of Asia’s most stunning garden destinations. The destination is a must-see visit on a quick stop over or as part of your extended time in the Lion City. Make sure you allow a full morning or afternoon, even an entire day, to walk around the many exhibits and secret garden worlds.

Gardens by the Bay, opposite the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore, is led by a multidisciplinary team of professionals who have been involved in the greening of Singapore, working alongside international and local experts to develop the astonishing architectural, arboreal and floral attraction. It’s an ever-evolving, living and breathing display set under two glass domes (an architectural wonder in their own right).

Gardens by the Bay has earned numerous awards and accolades including the World Building of the Year in 2012, the President’s Design Award (Singapore) in 2013, the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Themed Entertainment Association in 2014, the Largest Glass Greenhouse (Flower Dome) in the Guinness World Records for 2015, and even a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2016.

It has an in-house team of skilled landscape designers, horticulturists, arborists, engineers, plant health, garden and turf management experts, as well as plant research and orchid breeding professionals, who leverage on the extensive global network of plant sources cultivated during the development days.

Gardens by the bay - Singapore's horticultural showcase | News by The Thaiger

The two main domes are the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.

The Flower Dome is a celebration of flowers from around the world with various special displays throughout the year, depending on the seasons. You can meander your way though the extensive paths and walkways, read about the displays or just sit and soak in the wonder of colour.

The Cloud Forest takes you into the world of rainforests where you gaze up in wonder at soaring waterfalls and man-made mountains of lush tropical and cool-climate rainforest species. Or take an elevator up to the top and wander through the tree tops and enjoy the view. This display hits a high note early when you first walk though the doors and are confronted by a 30 metre cascade of water from 10 different man-made waterfalls, the tallest of its type in the world.

Originally constructed as a nature reserve park, a government strategy to convert the city from a “Garden City” to a “City In A Garden”, it is much more than just a botanical garden.

The area encompasses the Cloud Forest, the Flower Dome Conservatory, Heritage Gardens, various art installations and locations to just wander and relax. There are also audio tours available which will take you on a guided tour.

So, so much more than just a garden, it’s an education about bio-diversity, a hugely enjoyable afternoon or evening stroll around the world of plants and flowers. Warmly recommended for the entire family.

The Gardens are located at 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore, opposite the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and adjacent to the Singapore Eye ferris wheel.

Gardens by the bay - Singapore's horticultural showcase | News by The Thaiger

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ASEAN

China has the most atheists, Indonesia and Philippines the most believers

The Thaiger

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China has the most atheists, Indonesia and Philippines the most believers | The Thaiger

“According to the survey there is a connection between religiosity, beliefs and socio-demographic characteristics like age, income and education level.”

China is the least believing country in the world but belief in a God gets 100% mention in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh and Philippines, according to the survey by Gallup International.

According to the survey exploring religious tendencies of 66,000 people in 68 countries across the world, 62 per cent of people in the world define themselves as religious, 74% of people globally believe we have a ‘soul’ and 71% believe in a God. Another 56% believe in heaven, 54% in life after death and 49% in hell.

China has the highest percentage of atheists in the world with 67% not believing in any religion. Every seven out ten people are atheists, more than double than any other country. 23% consider themselves as non-religious. Less than 10% identify themselves as religious in China.

China’s atheist percentage is followed by Japan, a long way behind in second place at 29%, Slovenia (28%) and Chech Republic (25%). Despite rapid industrialisation and urbanisation religion has stayed relevant in the South Korean region with only 23% identifying as atheist.

China has the most atheists, Indonesia and Philippines the most believers | News by The Thaiger

European countries like Belgium (21 %), France (21%) , Sweden (18%) and Iceland (17%) also have a large percentage of believing population.

Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines are the most believing countries with entire population claiming to believe in God, soul, hell and heaven. Thailand and Pakistan have 99% believing population, followed by India, Vietnam and Mongolia.

The survey shows that the levels of religiosity diminish as income and education levels increase. While 66% of people with low income affirm to be religious, this percentage drops to 50% among people with higher incomes. The same trend is verified in relation to education levels: 83% of people with lower education level are religious against 49% of higher level.

According to the survey there is a connection between religiosity, beliefs and socio-demographic characteristics like age, income and education level. As education and income levels grow higher, religiosity levels tend to go down. Also, the expression of different beliefs is higher among young people.

The level of education has a considerable influence on the perception of religion by the society. Women and young children show higher percentage for spiritual forces.

China has the most atheists, Indonesia and Philippines the most believers | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Data Leads

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Philippines

Powerful 6.4 earthquake kills five in the Philippines

May Taylor

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Powerful 6.4 earthquake kills five in the Philippines | The Thaiger

PHOTO: AFP

A strong 6.4 magnitude earthquake has struck the southern Philippines, killing five, including one child, destroying property and disrupting power supply. The death toll is expected to rise.

The powerful quake was felt across the Mindanao region, even causing a 3-storey shopping mall to burst into flames. Residents were evacuated and a child was killed when a house collapsed in the town of Datu Paglas.

AFP reports that the quake was 14 kilometres deep and followed by two aftershocks. The Philippines is part of the “Ring of Fire”, a zone of constant seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific.

Several injuries have been reported as a result of falling debris. The shopping mall that caught fire was evacuated when the quake struck, but it’s not yet known if there were still people inside as the fire took hold.

The mall was still on fire three hours later as nearly 100 firemen battled to put it out.

Residents on the coast in Davao fled to higher ground fearing a tsunami, even though a government seismologist reassured people there was no tsunami risk as the quake had occurred inland.

It’s understood that prisoners in the municipal jail in the town of Bansalan were also let out, but placed in handcuffs and held outside for the duration of the evacuation.

SOURCE: AFP

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