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UPDATE – Landslides, potholes and budgets. Aftermath from Phuket’s floods.

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Today (September 16) a team from Phuket Provincial Highway Office has closed and is fixing Bangpae Bridge, which is on Tharua road, on the way towards Baan Para in Thalang, after the bridge collapsed due to the flood. The bridge is expected to be finished by 8pm.

Another team led by Vice Governor, Siriporn Chuasawad, also visited and helped the locals who are affected from the disaster.

“There are 2,000 households affected by this flood and 4 spots in Thalang have been declared as disaster zones which include Thepkasattri, Paklok, OrBorTor Thepkasattri and Srisunthorn,” said the Governor, Norapat Plodthong.

“I have ordered the vice governor to visit the affected places and give away basic utilities and consumption goods for people.”

The Governor has also ordered all departments involved to help people who are affected from the flood yesterday while he prepares for meetings to discuss about short and long term plans to handle the flood.

“There are landslides in Kalim, Kamala and on Patong Hill. The ones in Kalim and on Patong Hill are minor. In Kamala, the local officials have evacuated the construction team and 12 households from the risky area.”

“While in Phuket Town area of Rassada, a retaining wall of privately owned land has collapsed and destroyed some townhouses of the neighbours. 22 houses are affected from this incident and 5-6 of them are severely damaged. Those who have their houses in the risky area also have been evacuated to a safer place. A team of public works engineers are on location to check for the cause.”

Phuket Provincial Offices of Public Works and Town & Country Planning has filed for budgets to spend on flood solution systems for the whole island. In the Phuket Town area, Bang Yai Canal will be expanded and developed to hold more water. And for Phuket Town as well as Patong, the number of drains will be increased to allow water to drain to the sea faster.

The flooding around the island has been drained though some people have still set up sand bags in front of their houses to prepare for any flash flooding as the rain appears that it will continue for a few days, partly due to the weather systems surrounding the Doksuri storm that hit Vietnam yesterday and continues to head west into Thailand as it weakens.

- Kritsada Mueanhawong

Kritsada Mueanhawong lives the news. He chases it and delivers it, fresh everyday. Nathan Thepbamrung is a Phuket native that translates the Thai news feeds and prepares them for Phuket Gazette.

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Phuket

A man was fished out of the Surin Beach surf today – whilst on-duty lifesavers watched

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PHOTOS: Pavida Anantarasmi

Witnesses at Surin Beach today watched in bemused confusion when a man, who was in difficulty whilst swimming off Surin Beach today, was helped back to shore. But not by one of the lifeguards on duty at the beach who stood at the shore and watched the rescue take place.

The incident happened around 11am when a man, later identified as from Lebanon, was swimming off the beach in an area patrolled by the employed lifeguards. There was no designated swimming area set aside by the lifeguards.

A local surfer, from The Philippines, noticed that the man was in difficulty and rushed to his assistance. The paid lifeguards watched from the shoreline and helped the man once he was back to shore.

A former lifeguard at the beach made the comment that the new lifeguards “don’t like to swim as they don’t have confidence or training.”

“They didn’t have any of the required equipment to attempt a rescue.”

The man was taken to the Thalang Hospital.

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Chiang Rai

Thai and foreign media warned off Mu Pa 13

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“Stay away.”

That’s the warning issued by the public relations office of Chiang Rai province after a correspondent of America’s ABC News conducted an interview with the youngest of the survivors from Tham Luang cave in defiance of advice of psychiatrists and child welfare officials. The film crew also visited the church for 14 year old Adul Sam-on where church members threw Adul a welcome home party.

Members of the Thai and foreign media have been asked not to interview any of the 12 Wild Boars young footballers or face legal that could lead to a six-month imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 60,000 baht.

The warning  was issued by the public relations office of Chiang Rai province after a correspondent of ABC News had an interview with one of the survivors from Tham Luang cave in defiance of advice of psychiatrists and child welfare officials.

Chiang Rai deputy governor Somboon Sirivet said that the governor had instructed officials concerned in Mae Sai disttrict and the parents of the 12 young footballers to make sure that the boys are protected and that they should not give any interviews to the media.

Parents of the 12 boys went to Tham Luang cave today to attend a religious ceremony to pay respect and show gratitude to the what they believe to be spirits protecting the cave for the safe return of  their children after being stranded deep inside the flooded cave for more than two weeks before they were safely rescued last week.

SOURCES: Thai PBS, The Chiang Rai Times

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Regional

Malaysian Mahathir government to look at reducing voting age to 18 from 21

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Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister and the youngest ever minister,  says the Malaysian government is planning to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18 before the next elections in 2023.

In an interview with Bloomberg in KL, the 25 year old Cabinet member said the government would ask the Attorney-General’s Office to look into what laws to be amended to reduce the voting age to 18 which would add an another 3.7 million voters or an increase of 25 percent from the election in May.

New Straits Times is reporting that voters aged 21-39 make up around 40 percent of the Malaysian electorate, twice the number of voters over 60, according to the Election Commission data.

“That means the youth vote block becomes bigger and stronger, and therefore, they cannot be sidelined in the Malaysian political scene anymore,” said Saddiq, a member of Mahathir’s political party.

“The youth care about two primary issues,” said Saddiq. “One is abut bread and butter issues, which is cost of living, affordable housing, good employment opportunities, and quality of life. The second is getting their voice heard in the nation-building process,” said the minister.

About 75 percent of younger voters backed the opposition, according to Ibrahim Suffian, the executive director of pollster Merdeka Centrem whick tracks voter sentiments. The Merdeka Centre estimated a voter turnout of about 81 percent for youths with urban areas of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor seeing more young people outplace their elders in casting ballots.

Syed, who has pledged to reshuffle youth associations to make sure they’re led by people under the age of 35, also wants to phase out political appointees in sports and give more attention to student programmes that involve coding, automation, and artificial intelligence.

Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman (picture from Malaysiakini.com)

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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