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Southern provinces battered by heavy rains and floods

The Thaiger

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Southern provinces battered by heavy rains and floods | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Flooded Samui roads – Facebook/Thunder Road Reporters

“The city Mayor says the municipality had arranged for medical staff to be on stand-by to help patients at evacuation centres already set up to deal with potential flood crisis in Nakhon Si Thammarat.”

Heavy rain has been battering the southern regions of the Gulf coast for the past few days and caused flooding in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung provinces. The Andaman side of the coast has received little or no rain during the same period.

The heavy rains have reached as far north as Samui and the Chumpon coastline.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, Muang district mayor Chaowas Senpong is warning people living in low-lying areas to prepare for evacuation as a huge water mass from Khao Luang mountain range in Lan Saka district was expected to reach the Muang district township through Klong Chandee canal.

Several areas in the main city area have already been flooded by torrential rain which has battered the province for the past three days.

Huge water pumps have been installed to pump to drain water out of the overflowing canals into the sea, he said, adding that all schools in the municipal area have been ordered closed on Monday.

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พืนที่ด้านล่าง นำตกพรมโลก อ.พรมหมคีรี จ. นคศรีธรรมราช และพืนที่รับน้ำ เฝ้าระวังด้วย น้ำจากน้ำตกพรหมโลก ลงไปแล้ว16/12/61 #ริมเขื่อนวังปลาแงะที่มา…‎Phunop Jantarasuwan‎

Posted by จังหวัด นครศรีธรรรมราช on Saturday, December 15, 2018

In Phatthalung province, flood water continued to rise today in Kong Ra and Khuan Khanoon districts as water mass from Banthad mountainous range gushed downstream coupled with continuous raining.

The road in Khuan Khanoon district market was about 50 cm under water and water level was still rising, said district official.

Kanchanadit, Don Sak and Poonpin districts of Surat Thani were lashed with 203mm, 196mm and 170mm of rain water in the past 24 hours, resulting in the declaration of flood disaster area in five villages in Don Sak district.

In the Muang district, the detour road from Kawela hospital to a car dealer’s shop has been turned into a canal impassable to small vehicles. Several cars broke down on the road.

Southern provinces battered by heavy rains and floods | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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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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