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Thailand Live Friday 28 Oct 2011

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Thailand Live Friday 28 October 2011

News, Bits and Tweets

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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 Thursday 27 Oct 2011

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Death toll reaches 373; two more killed in Nonthaburi

THE NATION

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The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department (DPMD) reported yesterday that floods continue to ravage 26 provinces, affecting 730,348 people, while the death toll is 373 with two persons missing.

Meanwhile, two people were electrocuted to death while they were wading through flood waters to get relief provisions in Nonthanburi's Bang Bua Thong district.

In Kalasin, governor Wiroj Jiwarangsan yesterday ordered the evacuation of another five villages on the banks of the Chi River in Kamalasai and Khong Chai districts, because another 57 million cubic metres was expected to hit them later yesterday. Officials couldn't repair the cracks in a floodwall due to strong currents. Highway 214 (Kalasin-Roi Et) was also closed.

In Nonthaburi, the inner city area was inundated yesterday morning, while Sanambin Nam Road from Wat Tamnak Tai-Wat Chaengsiri-samphan, to Phra Nangklao Hospital intersection is under 20-30 centimetres of water. Flats housing Royal Thai Army Quartermaster Department officials were under 1.5 metres of water, while the flooding on Sanambin Nam Road posed a threat to Nonthaburi's two main arteries; Rattanathibet and Tiwanon roads.

In Lop Buri, water in the Chai Nat-Pasak Canal had dropped by 1.5m, while the floods in Ban Mi, Tha Wung and Muang districts were seen to be receding by 30-40cm, though roads remained impassable for small vehicles. Kittisak Supapong, kamnan of Ban Mi district's Tambon Ban Chee, said all flood-affected households there had received relief items at least 30 times, and urged those who had not received any help to step forward so authorities could investigate the matter.

The Royal Irrigation Department said yesterday the Chao Phraya in Nakhon Sawan was moving at 3,850 cubic metres/second, and in Chai Nat at 3,330 cubic metres/second.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-28

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Residents along waterways blocking operations

Pongphon Sarnsamak

The Nation

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The lack of understanding among people living near sluice gates is causing a real problem because they are stopping authorities from opening the gates out of fear their residences will be submerged, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said.

Khanapot Wandee from the Water Resources Department said his team has studied areas along the canals in Bangkok and nearby provinces over the past few days and discovered that people living along waterways did not want the Royal Irrigation Department and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to open the water gates.

The ministry is sending teams to help talk to people living near canals 8 to 11 in the upper area of Bangkok as well as those living along the Khlong Sam Wa canal.

"We hope they will have a better understanding of the situation and let us open the water gates," he said yesterday, adding that if the water gates could not be opened, then the plans to drain water in the east of Bangkok would be delayed.

The teams also found that each water gate in the canal was just 5 metres wide, which is not enough to drain water. In addition, he said, land in the capital was not on the same level, so that presented an obstacle.

"We are only able to drain 1.2 million cubic metres per day via canals in Bangkok and Samut Prakan," he said.

So far, the Flood Relief Operation Centre has been directing waters through canals 1 to 13 and Khlong Hok Wa.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-28

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Home repair costs may hit Bt131.6 billion

Somluck Srimalee

The Nation

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Homeowners in flooded communities will have to shoulder renovation costs of Bt1,000-Bt4,000 per square metre, depending on the materials used.

The number of affected homes is projected to reach 329,569 units in Greater Bangkok, which would bring the total renovation bill to Bt32.9 billion-Bt131.6 billion.

The average home occupies 100 square metres of space.

The cost for any furniture and home appliances is extra.

Vichai Kongsriong, managing director of Four Develop House Co, said yesterday that this budget is based on the cost to repaint a residence, at Bt350-Bt400 per square meter, and to repair the floor with wood at Bt1,500-Bt2,000 or with ceramic tile at Bt700-Bt1,000.

Renovation work cannot start until 20-40 days after the flood because the structure has to dry out first.

Sopon Pornchokchai, president of the Agency for Real Estate Affairs, said the cost of developing residential projects now would also increase.

The agency estimates residential damage at Bt74 billion, or 25 per cent of the value of flooded properties. It reported that 329,569 houses are flooded and 166,225 are at risk.

The cost per square meter to build a single family home averages Bt11,400 and drops to Bt8,600 for a townhouse and Bt7,200 for a commercial building.

Residential projects that have already started construction in flooded locations total 311 with 34,980 units but many have been damaged.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-28

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Armed forces, ministries, BMA rally to save city

The Nation

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The military will deploy another 50,000 troops, 1,000 vehicles and 1,000 boats to fight off floodwaters from Bangkok, the Defence Ministry said yesterday.

The First Army Area will defend Bangkok, and the Navy Siriraj Hospital, where His Majesty the King is receiving treatment, and Thawee Watthana district,

The Air Force will be in charge of Don Mueang airport compound and the government Flood Relief Operations Centre, said ministry spokesman Colonel Thanathip Sawangsaeng.

There are around 10,000 troops already deployed throughout the country, he said. Military reservists may be mobilised as extra helpers to assist regular troops when needed.

In already-flooded areas, the function of mass communications, traffic, tapwater and electricity must be protected.

Evacuation, when and where needed, will be conducted by the Defence Ministry under the Science Ministry’s supervision. Shelters are provided by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration at more than 100 of its schools in 23 districts.

Restoration and repatriation of evacuees will be conducted by the military, the BMA and relevant agencies.

The plans were yesterday worked out by the military council and would be likely approved by the prime minister before implementation, Thanathip said.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-28

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Passport offices open today, Monday

The Nation

The Foreign Ministry will operate normal passport and consular services in Bangkok and other provinces during the five-day special holiday which began yesterday.

The holidays apply to 21 provinces, including Bangkok, which have been hard hit by the flooding.

The ministry said its Consular Affairs Department on Chaeng Wattana road as well as its Bang Na branch and those in other provinces would be open as normal today and Monday between 8am and 4.30pm.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-28

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Yellow tap water safe: waterworks

The Nation

The floods have affected tap-water production to an extent, Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MEA) assistant governor Vikrom Suwanchomphu said yesterday.

He said tap water piped to people living along the Mahasawas Canal was now yellow in colour, but did not contain any germs or toxins.

"But you may boil the water before drinking it if you wish," Vikrom said.

He added that his agency was urgently fixing the problem.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-28

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Bangladesh sending US$1m in relief

The Nation

Bangladesh has pledged US$1million (Bt30.5 million) in humanitarian relief assistance for flood victims in Thailand.

The pledge has been made as a gesture of solidarity with flood-affected Thais and in view of the longstanding friendship with Thailand.

Prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has instructed his government officials to send the relief materials immediately to Thailand.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-28

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