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Overfishing gives more crab?

Posted by hasekamp on 27 April 2011 at 10:58 AM
The Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) has identified overfishing as a likely cause of the millions of crab larvae washing ashore on Phuket beaches on Friday. The tiny sea creatures that washed ashore at Kata and Karon Beaches were crabs, not krill as originally reported, explained PMBC Director Wannakiat Thubthimsang, who took live samples from the beach on Friday. “They are baby sea crabs, but we’re not sure what kind. It’s obvious they live in the sea, not on shore, as their last pairs of legs are for swimming – not for walking like the legs shore crabs have,” he said. “The crabs are in their megalopa period; about 29 to 40 days old. Their carapaces [“bodies”] are two to three millimeters wide and about 1mm long, but we cannot tell what kind of crabs they are,” he added. Mr Wannakiat explained that a mature female crab produces up to 300,000 eggs at a time. “So if many female crabs lay eggs at the same time, millions of larvae will be produced,” he said. “During this megalopa period, these larvae serve as a major source of food for fish. We expect that overfishing is why so many of them survived,” said the marine biologist. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Bangkok too small?

Posted by hasekamp on 26 April 2011 at 9:59 AM
Bangkok urban planners will seek to involve six surrounding provinces in the drafting of a new master plan for the metropolis. The meeting of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration executives had discussed the master plan, which would be renewed for another year, BMA spokesman Jate Sopitpongstorn said yesterday. The City Planning Department reported to the meeting that a public hearing on the new city plan would be held after the general election and suggested that, to make it more complete, it should include the six neighbouring provinces. Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra instructed the department to prepare a proposal for the master plan that would link with the provinces to be presented to this or the next government, he added. (Source: The Nation)


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And the war goes on ...

Posted by hasekamp on 26 April 2011 at 9:54 AM
Ten Thai soldiers were wounded in the latest border clash in Surin province, early on Tuesday morning, the 2nd Army said. Col Prawit Hookaew, the 2nd Army spokesman, said the fighting occurred between 3.20am and 5am, when Cambodian soldiers tried to capture Ta Kwai and Ta Muen Thom temple ruins but were repulsed. He also said there are now civilians including women and children staying among Cambodian soldiers at all operational bases around the Preah Vihear temple, on the border with Si Sa Ket, so Thai soldiers have to be more careful to make sure they do not shoot civilians. "I can assure you that we can protect our sovereignty with our border defence forces. "Negotiation is out of the question because every movement on the Cambodian side is commanded solely by (Cambodian Prime Minister) Hun Sen. "Last night seven or eight artillery rounds were fired as us across the border and one of them landed 7 or 8 kilometres inside Thai territory, near Phanom Dong Rak hospital," Col Prawit said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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On Nut-Baring extension open in August

Posted by hasekamp on 25 April 2011 at 17:52 PM
Commuters can start using the long awaited extension of the Skytrain's Sukhumvit Line from On Nut to Baring on August 12. A trial run was scheduled for May 4, with the media invited, Jate Sopitpongstorn, spokesman of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said Monday after a meeting of BMA executives. Throughout June, the whole Skytrain system would be tested before the Baring extension would be officially launched on August 12. A promotional fare of Bt15 per trip would likely be charged, he added. (Source: The Nation)


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Four days of border clashes

Posted by hasekamp on 25 April 2011 at 17:50 PM
A fresh clash between Thai and Cambodian soldiers was reported on Monday morning, the fourth day running, but no casualties were reported. Field reports said there was a clash about 10am around Ta Muen Thom temple near Ban Nong Khan Na in tambon Ta Miang of Surin's Phanom Dong Rak district. The sounds of rifle, machinegun and mortar fire could be heard continually from the area. No more artillery shells landed on Thai soil. The public relations centre of the 2nd Army's forward headquarters on Monday reported that five soldiers had been killed and 35 wounded since the fighting began on Friday. There were 25,000 civilian evacuees in Surin and 4,500 in Buri Ram. 2nd Army commander Tawatchai Samutsakhon said the Thai military's response to Cambodian attacks has been limited to military targets, unlike the Cambodian soldiers who fired 10 artillery rounds into Ban Nong Khan Na village in Phanom Dong Rak on Sunday. A sporadic firefight involving small arms and mortars also occurred between Ta Kwai and Ta Muen Thom temples on Sunday night. lasting until about 11pm, he said. National army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said the government will decide whether or not to go to war with Cambodia over the disputed border, not the military. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Thai navy wants submarines

Posted by hasekamp on 23 April 2011 at 10:10 AM
The navy still wants to buy six used Type U206A submarines from Germany, because they are most suitable for its needs, navy chief Admiral Kamthorn Poomhiran said on Friday. Adm Kamthorn said the Type U206A submarine is most suitable for the Thai navy because it is small and agile, with a displacement of only 450 tonnes. Moreover, the six submarines would cost the navy only 7.7 billion baht. "I can guarantee that they can be in commission for more than 10 years," he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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And another border clash

Posted by hasekamp on 23 April 2011 at 10:07 AM
Altogether 7 soldiers injured in the latest clash between Thai and Cambodia troops along the border in Surin province have been admitted to Phanom Dong Rak hospital, the hospital’s director Apisan Bunpradab said on Saturday. It was reported that the exchange of fire between Thai and Cambodian soldiers with started about 6am ended at about 10.40am. The military trucks were reported to have been evacuating the local people living along the border to safe areas. This is a new clash,after the clash from a former message here. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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New border clash

Posted by hasekamp on 23 April 2011 at 10:05 AM
At least four Thai soldiers were killed, one seriously injured (foreign papers say he also died) in a deadly border clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops on Friday morning. Thai Army deputy spokeswoman Sirijan Ngathong said that eight soldiers sustained injuries and there is no reports of civilians injured. According to Sirijan, Thai army found two days ago that the Cambodian troops moved heavy weapons to an area near Prasat Ta Kwai in Surin's Panom Dongrak district. The Thai troops on Friday told the Cambodian side to move the weapons out only to be fired at. The clash eruptd at about 5am near the Prasat Ta Kwai, the exchange of rifle and artillery fires forced residents in about 20 villages in district to evacuate to safe areas. The clash ceased about five hours later. (Source: The Nation)


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Less Songkran deaths

Posted by hasekamp on 23 April 2011 at 10:01 AM
The death toll from road accidents during the "seven dangerous days" of Songkran this year showed a 25 percent drop compared with the period last year. The director of the Road Safety Centre, Dr Thanapong Jinwong, said yesterday that 271 had been killed this year compared with 361 during last Songkran. "The numbers of road accidents and of victims with serious injuries have also dropped." He said the number of road accidents had dropped from 3,516 to 3,215, and victims with serious injuries from 3,802 to just 3,476. Thanapong said the number of accidents had dropped because relevant officials and organisations had strictly enforced laws against drunk driving, speeding and the failure to wear crash helmets. Drunk driving accounted for 38.7 per cent of the road accidents during this Songkran, while speeding was blamed for 20.5 per cent and 15.6 per cent were related to reckless driving by motorcyclists. Up to 4,910,038 vehicles, or 497,159 more than last year, were flagged down for checks this Songkran. Of the vehicles stopped, 646,837 were fined for violating traffic rules, including 202,956 motorcyclists who were caught not wearing crash helmets. Thanapong hopes that safety campaigns and strict law enforcement will ensure that all motorcyclists and passengers wear crash helmets. (Source: The Nation)


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Storm all over North Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 20 April 2011 at 17:29 PM
The chief of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, Wibul Sa-nguanpong, warned yesterday that 48 provinces in the North, Northeast and East could be hit by summer storms within a day or two and that department officials should be prepared. The provinces at risk are Phitsanulok, Tak, Sukhothai, Phetchabun, Uttaradit, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Nong Bua Lampu, Loei, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Panom, Mukdahan, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Nakhon Ratchasima, Surin, Buri Ram, Chaiyaphum, Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Si Sa Ket, Yasothon, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaew, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya, Sing Buri, Angthong, Saraburi, Lop Buri and Chai Nat. Wibul also advised people to follow weather reports closely, put away their valuables, strengthen their buildings and stay away from trees, advertising signs and unstable structures. They should also refrain from wearing conductive materials such as gold or silver necklaces or using mobile phones during a storm. Several provinces in the North suffered from heavy rain yesterday morning, especially in Sukhothai's Muang district, which was so badly flooded that officials had to spend two hours draining the water. Meanwhile, Chiang Mai officials also trimmed the rubber trees along Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road to prevent branches falling off and hurting passing motorists or homes nearby - a frequent occurrence during storms. (Source: Tĥe Nation)


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Airport rail link not a success

Posted by hasekamp on 18 April 2011 at 17:54 PM
The rail link project between central Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi airport has turned out to be a fiasco, with passengers paying up to 150 baht for what they say is a shoddy service. No escalators, no trolleys, no car park and no connecting facilities are just some of the complaints. Officials have been bombarded with complaints. There have been complaints that the terminals at the stations are badly signposted; there are no escalators; and there are no trolleys for passengers with heavy bags to use. Other complaints include the lack of a car park and no facilities linking the stations to public transport. Passengers also complained the train "looks old" and the seats are uncomfortable. Many passengers are also upset by the way the doors to the train shut with heavy force. Basic technical equipment has also failed. Permanent secretary for transport Supoj Saplom admitted the problems and lack of facilities stemmed from the operation's substandard design. The 28-kilometre Airport Rail Link between central Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi airport has been plagued with these problems after less than one year of trials and service. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Crash in Big Buddha hill

Posted by hasekamp on 17 April 2011 at 11:13 AM
Rescue workers at Phuket Ruamjai Kupai Foundation have confirmed that at least five people died in the head-on collision on Phuket’s Big Buddha hill this morning. Among the dead was a baby girl estimated at only two to three years old. The other deceased were two men and two women. Fifteen others have been taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital, including the driver of the pickup, who was reported to have suffered a broken arm. The driver was the only Thai in the pickup. The rest were Burmese workers from the Thanason project at Baan Borrae in Wichit. The group was returning from paying respects to the giant Buddha image when the accident happened. No foreigners travelling in the safari bus were taken to hospital, rescue workers confirmed. This latest incident follows a safari jeep running off the very steep road after its brakes failed in January last year. That accident claimed the life of a young Australian tourist. More Australian tourists were on the safari bus involved in the accident today. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Songkran death toll now 229

Posted by hasekamp on 17 April 2011 at 11:08 AM
A total of 229 people were killed and 3,172 others injured in 2,932 road accidents from April 11 to 16, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported on Sunday. On Saturday, 41 people were killed and 386 others injured in road accidents, according to the department. Nakhon Sawan had the largest fatalities, 13, followed by Bangkok and Ayutthaya (11 each). The department reported the road toll for the first six days of the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran festival at 188 yesterday. One more day to go ... (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Abhisit wants new Government House

Posted by hasekamp on 16 April 2011 at 19:36 PM
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva wants to have a new Government House built near the new Parliament site which is now under construction. Abhisit said otherwise the two modern buildings at the current Government House should be improved, saying they were not beautiful and do not fit in with the main buildings. Abhisit told the media that Command Buildings 1 and 2 are also becoming dilapidated fast and the idea of building a new Government House had already been expressed by then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra. The premier said if a new Government House was built near the new Parliament it would be most fitting. Meanwhile, PM's Office Minister Ong-art Klampaiboon, who works in one of the Command Buildings admitted the structure was in bad condition and adding new wires and electric lines had become a challenge. Abhisit has tasked PM secretary-general Kobsak Sabhavasu to set up a committee to work with Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Architecture and look into the feasibility of a new Government House which is more spacious. Architects who designed the new Parliament are also being consulted and the committee has met twice. (Source: The Nation)


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Ancient sites flooded

Posted by hasekamp on 16 April 2011 at 19:34 PM
Several ancient sites in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani have been severely affected by the recent floods, the Fine Arts Department's Archaeology Division reported yesterday. The damage assessment report by Fine Arts Office 14 in Nakhon Si Thammarat said that satellite photo analysis showed 52 ancient sites in Sichon district, estimated to belong to the 12th-14th centuries of the Buddhist era, which were yet to be fully explored, were submerged. The floods also damaged the Tumpang archaeological site in Tha Sala district, Wat Chaeng's Chinese pavilion, and the ancient wall and fortress on Ratchadamnoen Road in Mueang district, the report said. In Surat Thani, the Wiang Sa ancient city was severely hit by the floods while the Kuan Tharae, Tha Sathon and Nam Rob temples on the banks of the Tapi River were also damaged by flood waters. Meanwhile, HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana yesterday visited flood victims in Nakhon Si Thammarat's Nopphitam district. Nakhon Si Thammarat Governor Theera Mintrasak said that 600,000 relief bags from the royal family, the state and private sectors were distributed to some 200,000 flood-affected families. He urged those victims who had not received it to inform local leaders or district chiefs. (Source: The Nation)


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Songkran death toll now 188

Posted by hasekamp on 16 April 2011 at 19:30 PM
With the Songkran holidays still in full swing, the figures are as follows: A total of 188 people were killed and 2,786 others injured in road accidents from April 11 to 15, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported on Saturday. On Friday, 40 people were killed and 470 others injured in 443 road accidents, according to the department. The department reported the road toll for the first four days of the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran festival at 148 yesterday. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Thaksin wants to influence Puea Thai

Posted by hasekamp on 10 April 2011 at 11:41 AM
Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he plans to assert a strong influence on Thailand's economic and political policy, from abroad, if the opposition Puea Thai Party wins the coming general election. Thaksin said in a press interview in Dubai with the Wall Street Journal that his short-terms goals would be cutting corporate tax rates and an amnesty for all people charged with politically related offences since the military coup that ousted his government in September 2006. "This conflict has been going on for five years and many people have suffered mentally and physically. "We should start all over again to help the country prosper," he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Red shirts rally

Posted by hasekamp on 10 April 2011 at 11:36 AM
Red-shirt supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship have begun to gather at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnern Avenue for a major rally today. The rally is to mark the first anniversary of the April 10, 2010 clash between government forces and UDD protesters at the Khon Wua intersection, leaving 21 people killed and more than 200 injured. Twenty-one companies of metropolitan police are to be deployed to maintain law and order.
Police expected tens of thousands of red shirts to take part in the rally. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Now 61 flood deaths

Posted by hasekamp on 10 April 2011 at 11:34 AM
The death toll in flood-hit southern provinces has reached 61, the Interior Ministry's Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department announced on Sunday. Of the 61 deaths, 26 are in Nakhon Si Thammarat, 12 in Surath Thani, 12 in Krabi, five in Phatthalung, three in Chumphon, two in Trang and one in Phangnga provinces. Floodwater has receded in much of the flood-hit areas except Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani and Trang. Flooding completely destroyed 396 houses and partly damaged 10,412 others. A total of 5,769 roads, 198 weirs, 578 bridges, 694 schools and 176 official buildings were damaged. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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King works in hospital

Posted by hasekamp on 8 April 2011 at 10:45 AM
Despite his health problems, His Majesty the King has been working every day from Siriraj Hospital, his youngest daughter says. HRH Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana made the comment during a recent interview with popular TV host Wuttitorn Milintachinda, better known as Woody. The princess rarely gives TV interviews. It is thus uncommon for the public to hear her speak of her father, who has won overwhelming love and respect from people across Thailand. His Majesty is also the world's longest reigning monarch. Throughout the past several decades, he has worked tirelessly for the happiness of all Thais. Even during his hospitalisation period, the 83-year old monarch has been working, the princess said. "His Majesty has never taken a day off work." His Majesty has been receiving treatment at Siriraj Hospital since September 2009. Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn have stayed with him at the hospital to care for His Majesty. According to the Princess, His Majesty's thigh muscles are weak but his overall condition is fine. "He has caught a cold from time to time. But throughout the period, his mental strength has been remarkable," she said. (Source: The Nation)


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Cluster bombs against Cambodia

Posted by hasekamp on 8 April 2011 at 10:41 AM
Thailand used cluster bombs on Cambodian territory in February in contravention of an international agreement banning their use, a campaigning body said Wednesday. The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) claimed Thailand had confirmed the findings of CMC officials at a meeting on Tuesday, acknowledging the first known use of such arms since the ban came into force last year. Their use killed two people, said the CMC - an umbrella body for non-government organisations which played a major role in getting a wide range of countries to sign up to a ban. The Thai army has constantly denied using cluster bombs during the border clashes with Cambodia. Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn Wednesday said the Thai army had explained to the public that the munitions it had used to attack Cambodian soldiers were not considered the same type of cluster munitions that the CMC mentioned. "It's appalling that any country would resort to using cluster munitions after the international community banned them," said Laura Cheeseman, director of the CMC. The convention, under which signatories pledge to ban production, stockpiling and use of cluster weapons, went into force in August last year. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Hundreds of animals left to die

Posted by hasekamp on 8 April 2011 at 10:35 AM
Hundreds of animals were left to die in their cages in the Nakhon Si Thammarat floods because a local zoo had no evacuation plans for them. Talad Zoo, in Muang district, faced the greatest loss in its 26-year history after more than 100 birds, 50 snakes, five crocodiles and one deer reportedly died in the flood. The remaining animals, numbering in the hundreds, have had to be crammed together while zoo officials try to salvage the complex. "The animal deaths are the biggest tragedy since the zoo opened in 1985. The flood came so fast. We had no time to evacuate them. We regret the loss but it was truly unpreventable," said Nattawut Panpob, deputy mayor of Nakhon Si Thammarat municipality. The zoo has been under water since last Saturday _ at one point the flood waters were 3m high. Zoo staff made every effort to move the animals out of the cages, especially the birds. However, the birds wouldn't fly away because they had become too domesticated. Eventually, the staff had no choice but to leave them in the cages. After several bouts of heavy rain and low temperatures, the birds, most of them parrots, died. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Flood toll now 13

Posted by hasekamp on 1 April 2011 at 17:37 PM
Thirteen people have now died in floods that ravaged eight Southern provinces, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department (DPMD) reported yesterday. The DPMD Emergency Operation Centre said that as of yesterday morning, floods had hit 4,014 villages in 81 districts of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, Trang, Chumphon, Songkhla, Krabi and Phang Nga and affected 842,324 people. Of the 13 people killed - excluding those who died in the Khao Panom forest flood and landslide in Krabi - nine were in Nakhon Si Thammarat, three in Surat Thani and one in Phatthalung, while 181 people were injured and one is missing - a village headman in Surat Thani's Chaiya district. Damage to 732,655 rai (117,225 hectares) of farmland has affected 111,827 farmers. (Source: The Nation)


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