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Thailand Live Tuesday 1 Nov 2011

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Thailand Live Tuesday 1 November 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 Monday 31 Oct 2011

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Dispute has been resolved: PM

THE NATION

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The dispute between officials and residents over the drainage rate at Klong Sam Wa watergate in eastern Bangkok is over, with the height of the gate currently being fixed at 100 centimetres, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said he had learned of Yingluck's statement, but needed a written order before he could comply with the decision on the height of the gate.

The governor had earlier said that keeping the gate at a height of 100cm would put many nearby districts that had not yet flooded at greater risk, and that 80cm was technically an appropriate level - a possible reason for his statement that he required written approval from the government before proceeding.

However, the gate's height cannot remain at this level all the time, and will be lowered occasionally to prevent excess water being released from Sam Wa Canal into San Saeb Canal, which would put many areas and industrial estates at risk of flooding, Yingluck said.

Local residents had converged at Klong Sam Wa watergate throughout Sunday night, demanding that the gate's height be raised to 150cm from the original, standard level of 80cm.

Feeling threatened by a 1,000-strong crowd, many of whom were armed with tools and hurled angry words at them, officials agreed to increase the height to 75cm in accordance with regulations and the authority they possessed.

The size of the crowd ebbed and flowed throughout the night, with additional villagers swelling the numbers after learning of the rally. The protesters also staged a roadblock at the nearby Hathai Mitr Intersection in a bid to pressure officials into meeting their demand for the gate to be raised to 150cm above water level.

Despite mediation by two Pheu Thai MPs, who said the height could be increased initially to 130cm after negotiations with officials, a group of residents starting digging up both shoulders of the sluice gate in an effort to release more water, before being pushed away by police.

Various proposed levels were repeatedly tossed around by both sides, with heights ranging from 100cm to 150cm being demanded, and 75cm being put forward by officials. The 75cm level was then jointly approved by the government and the BMA. However, a height of 100cm was finally agreed upon by the government and the BMA, as announced by the prime minister.

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-- The Nation 2011-11-01

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Phone Services Undisrupted by Floods

CAT Telecom has assured that 90 percent of home phone services in Bangkok and the outskirts remain intact despite widespread floods.

However, the company has admitted its concern about the worsening flood situation in the western part of the capital. It said home and mobile phone signals will be disrupted if power supply to areas severely flooded is cut.

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-- Tan Network 2011-11-01

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Finland warns against travel to Bangkok

Finland has joined other countries in warning its citizens against unnecessary travel to the flood-threatened Thai capital, Bangkok.

The Foreign Ministry also recommended that Finns stay away from other badly-affected regions of Thailand as it battles the worst flooding in 50 years. The warning does not apply to Bangkok's international airport, some 20km east of the capital, which is operating normally.

The warning is in effect until at least the end of October, although the floods could last for several weeks. The Foreign Ministry advises travellers to follow the situation closely via local news sources and follow advice given by local authorities.

On Friday the main river coursing through Thailand's capital swelled to record highs, briefly flooding riverside buildings and a royal complex at high tide. There are fears that flood defences could break and swamp the heart of the city.

Source: http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.php?news_id=9755&coun_code=fi

-- scandasia.com 2011-11-01

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Test shows 'very deteriorated' water quality

The Nation

The flood coursing through the Waterworks Canal in Bangkok's Bang Sue district has been shown to be among the filthiest in the country.

Worasart Apaipong, deputy director-general of the Pollution Control Department, said yesterday that the water quality at the canal in front of the Bang Sue District Office was very deteriorated, with 1.3 milligrams per litre of dissolved oxygen (DO).

Citing a report by the operations centre for pollution mitigation in flood-affected areas, Worasart said officials had measured the water quality at 25 flooded areas nationwide and found 32 per cent were "very deteriorated", 40 per cent "deteriorated", 4 per cent "fair" and 24 per cent "good".

In Sing Buri, tambon Ton Pho in Muang district and tambon Hua Pa in Phromburi district reported the DO level at 0.0-1.0mg/L, while Suphan Buri's Bang Pla Ma district reported 1.6-5mg/L.

In Lop Buri's Muang district, tambon Patan had 1.3mg/L of DO, while Ayutthaya's Lat Bua Luang, Phak Hai and Bang Sai districts were reported at 2.0-4.8mg/L. Nonthaburi's Pak Kret district was reported at 1.6mg/L.

From October 27-31, 190 water-pollution complaints were filed through the 1111 flood hotline and the 1650 department hotline.

Officials had given Effective Micro-organism (EM) liquid as an initial solution to 59 people while contacting other agencies for the rest. So far, 25,004 litres of EM and 40,000 EM balls have been sent to assist flood victims, while 85,000 litres and 11,200 balls were held in reserve.

Officials have also responded to 43 complaints of garbage or chemical leakage, including engine oil, in Nonthaburi's Pak Kret district and chemical fertiliser in Pathum Thani's Thanyaburi district, Worasart said.

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-- The Nation 2011-11-01

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Army reassures public over armoury

The Nation

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With floodwaters in front of the 11th Infantry Regiment barracks in Bangkok's Bang Khen district continuing to rise, Defence Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha yesterday ordered that APC trucks, weapons and munitions be moved to the 3rd Infantry Battalion in Phetchaburi's Muang district, and assigned 200 soldiers to guard and repair floodwalls.

General Yuthasak said the transportation, by convoy and using low-traffic routes such as Rama II Road, began noon yesterday and would be gradual.

Royal Thai Army deputy spokesman Lieutenant-Col Wanchana Sawasdee reassured members of the public that the transportation was due to flooding and had no political motive. He added that the 4th Cavalry Division King's Guard in Kiak Kai will move 19 tanks, four APS trucks and four Scorpion tanks to Chon Buri's Anti-aircraft Artillery Division 21, away from possible flooding.

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-- The Nation 2011-11-01

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