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Thailand Live Thursday 20 Oct 2011

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Thailand Live Thursday 20 October 2011

News, Bits and Tweets

with webfact

Keep up to date with live updates from the news, hour by hour.

For breaking news,national, regional and international news updates on a daily basis only, this thread is closed to commentary so that those who wish to follow the news can find it here...

Commentary is still open for Thailand news in the relevant thread posted in News Clippings.

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Related topic: Thailand Live Wednesday 19 Oct 2011

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No threat of chemical leaks in submerged industrial estates: PCD

The Nation

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Initial tests led by the Pollution Control Department (PCD) show that flooding in industrial estates does not pose any serious threats, such as leakage of toxic chemicals.

No contamination was found in the water around Saharat Nakorn, Rojana, Hi-Tech and Factory Land industrial estates in Ayutthaya.

Worasart Apaipong, acting director-general of the PCD, said that though the concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOC) was higher than usual in the water inside the Majend Makcs factory, it did not go beyond the safety limit.

"Flood waters in front of the factory do not have a high concentration of VOC, which shows that the chemicals used inside the factory have not leaked," he said, adding that more detailed tests would be conducted and the results should be ready in seven days.

Floods have ravaged several industrial estates in the country, raising grave concerns about the possible leakage of chemicals, including thinner and cyanide.

"Some chemical containers have been found floating outside but they are not broken," Worasart said, adding that all factory owners should find a way to keep containers secure.

He said another PCD team would inspect the inundated Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate in Pathum Thani soon. An informed source also disclosed that there were no threats of chemical leakage in Bang Pa-in Industrial Estate either.

Worasart sought to ease public concerns by saying that regular checks would be conducted at all risky factories.

"But if you have reason to be concerned or have any tip-offs of chemical risks, alert us by calling 1650," he said.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri said the carcasses of drowned chickens had been removed from a farm in Ayutthaya.

"We will disinfect the water using EM balls to prevent the spread of germs," he said, referring to microbial (Effective Micro-organism) disinfectant technology.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Barriers raised around Suvarnabhumi

The Nation

Authorities at Suvarnabhumi International Airport yesterday raised the height of temporary dykes to four metres and also had metre-high sandbag barriers piled up along surrounding roads in a bid to prevent flooding.

Somchai Sawasdipol, acting director of the Airports of Thailand (AOT), said the Highway Department had been working on strengthening dykes for 10 days now, and the operation should be completed by today.

Meanwhile, the Lat Krabang Canal would be dredged to allow space for more water, while the airport is also helping the Royal Irrigation Department drain water rapidly. Volunteers have been helping out.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Police to check on vendors

The Nation

The Consumer Protection Police Command yesterday dispatched officials to check on shops selling commodities, construction materials and sandbags in Bangkok and its vicinity after receiving reports that some vendors were reportedly hiking up their prices or were stockpiling goods to cause shortages.

The police would ensure that commodities are not overpriced and that all items carry clear price tags. They will also prohibit vendors from hoarding goods. Those who fail to put price tags on their goods will face a Bt10,000 fine, while those selling goods at prices that are too high will face seven years in jail and/or Bt140,000 in fines. Call 1135 or visit www.consumer.police.go.th for details.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Food donations sought

The Nation

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Evacuation centres need relief supplies and food as more people are seeking to be sheltered.

There are currently 482 evacuees being accommodated at a government complex off Chaeng Wattana Road in northern Bangkok, while another centre will soon be ready to shelter more people. The items needed at this facility are underwear for the elderly and casual wear such as sandals, shorts and t-shirts, as well as winter clothes and cages for small pets.

Free hair cuts and recreational activities are being provided along with counselling and meditation courses. Many of the evacuees are also undergoing skill training.

Meanwhile, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, located off the Rangsit-Pathum Thani road, is housing 530 evacuees and has the capacity to accommodate 1,500 people. Donations of food, sleeping gear and baby milk powder are being sought. Call (02) 549 3070 and (02) 549 3339 for details.

The Ayutthaya campus of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, which is accommodating around 800 people, is seeking food. For details, call (081) 925 1491 or deposit money in account number 067-213125-3 of the SCB Chitralada Palace branch.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Five bodies found in Ayutthaya, Angthong

The Nation

Three bodies were found in Ayutthaya and two more were retrieved in Angthong yesterday.

The body of Sudjai Changsri, 32, was found after he had gone missing two days ago on his way home from a field hospital in Bang Pa-in district, where he had gone to pick up asthma medication. Boonchuay Sunthornpan, 70, and Chaliew Jansukhon, 49, are believed to have succumbed to stress. The bodies are being stored at Thammasart University's Rangsit Campus.

In Angthong's Chaiyo district, Yongyuth Changnoi, 26, allegedly drowned while fishing, and Charoen Charoensuk, 52, is believed to have drowned while heading for a relative's home.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Princess shows her appreciation

The Nation

Princess Ubolrat Ratchakanya yesterday graciously granted flowers and 1,000 snack packages via the Prime Minister's Office to volunteers helping out at the relief centre set up at Don Mueang Airport.

Meanwhile, Khunying Pojaman Damapong and her three children donated Bt5 million and the Bahrain Ambassador to Thailand presented US$2 million (Bt60 million) in aid.

Saying the Don Mueang Airport evacuation centre could accommodate another 3,000 evacuees, the Flood Relief Operations Centre reported that it had received Bt90.98 million in cash donations and 5.36 million in relief items since October 8. The centre has arranged for 61 trucks to deliver the items to flood-hit provinces.

The centre, which can be contacted at (083) 310 7544 or (089) 920 7494, reported that it has received 139,941 calls, of which 48,558 were calls for help, 68,896 callers sought news updates and 19,888 were prank calls.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Activist calls on firms to help out

The Nation

The government should ask factories and companies not affected by the flooding to send volunteers to help beef up flood barriers around industrial parks at risk to prevent further job losses, well-known labour activist Vilaiwan Sae Tia said yesterday.

Vilaiwan said it was difficult for labour unions to be effective without government support to help save the remaining industrial estates facing floods. She said many factories and companies would be enthusiastic to take such a lead from the government.

Red-shirt leader and president of the Mirror Foundation, Sombat Boon-ngam-anong, urged companies already engaged in corporate social responsibility activities to provide volunteers to help out at the foundation's ad-hoc office at Don Mueang Airport.

Sombat said a great impact would be felt if a number of corporations sent just two or three staff to help out in the next two weeks, adding that many of the volunteers who had joined on their own initiative were now exhausted.

"I don't understand why they [the government] don't seem to get it," Sombat said.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Villagers fight plans for new industrial park

The Nation

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Villagers from Bang Khai district in Rayong yesterday filed a petition against the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand's plans to construct a new industrial estate in the area.

In the petition, they said that the plan affected the rights, freedom and dignity of local residents and violated Articles 66 and 67 of the Constitution and demanded that it be cancelled.

Srettha Pitutecha and Suthi Atchasai, coordinator of the Eastern People’s Network, led a group of 20 villagers to file the complaint at the Rayong Administrative Court. Srisuwan Janya, president of Stop Global Warming Association, was also present.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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Massive run-off forces Nonthaburi hospital to close

The Nation

A private hospital in Nonthaburi's Bang Bua Thong district had to be closed yesterday because the sandbag barrier protecting it had been breached by a massive run-off from Pathum Thani province.

Chollada Hospital was forced to evacuate patients after the water levels rose to a metre and half when the sandbag barrier built at La Harn Temple fell apart. The hospital was submerged in 30-centimetres of water, which also short-circuited the power outlets bringing down the computer system and electrical equipment.

Meanwhile, the Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya hospital has resumed operation now that the floods are starting to recede, initially opening its outpatient and emergency units.

"The hospital has already opened some medical units to provide treatment," Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri said after receiving a report from the hospital's director.

He added that the Sawan Pracharak Hospital in Nakhon Sawan province, which is still under 20cm of water, should reopen by Friday. Witthaya has instructed the staff to start cleaning up and hopes the outpatient and emergency units will be ready soon.

Since the Sawan Pracharak Hospital was flooded in, members of the staff have been treating between 500 and 600 patients at its makeshift medical unit at Phitsanulok intersection.

Meanwhile, Witthaya has instructed health officials in the severely flooded Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi provinces to give priority to patients with chronic disease, pregnant women as well as the disabled and elderly.

Permanent secretary Dr Paijit Warachit said the ministry had reserved a total of 1,500 beds in 10 provincial hospitals, including state-owned institutions in Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Rayong, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok and Chon Buri.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-20

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