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Thailand Live Tuesday 11 Oct 2011

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Thailand Live Tuesday 11 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 Monday 10 Oct 2011

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Rest of week may be declared a holiday

The Nation

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The peak tide period from tomorrow through Friday could be declared a holiday.

PM's Office Minister Kritsana Seehalak, who reportedly floated this proposal, yesterday refused to confirm or dismiss the possibility of the Cabinet approving it at today's meeting.

"It's just an initiative. There is no further progress over it. It needs to be discussed in the Cabinet," she said by telephone.

"We need to wait and see tomorrow what will happen in the meeting. There is nothing going on as of now.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-11

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Evacuees arrive at TU's shelters

The Nation

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Some 400 Ayutthaya residents moved into a temporary shelter at Thammasat University's Rangsit Campus in Pathum Thani's Khlong Luang district yesterday.

Deputy Rector for Student Affairs Parinya Thewanaruemitrakul said the shelter, located in the campus' Gymnasium 2, provided basic facilities for sleeping on the floor, blankets, a place to do laundry, and a kitchen along with some food supplies. It can support 1,200-1,800 people.

Evacuee Setthapat Jutipakworapong said his home in Muang Ayutthaya was so heavily flooded that his family couldn't live there and had moved to City Hall. However, conditions there were poor, with overcrowding and a shortage of food, prompting them to seek shelter at Thammsat. He said many more people wanted to shelter at the campus but transport was scarce.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-11

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Fine Arts officials decline evacuation to safeguard Ayutthaya treasures

The Nation

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Some of approximately 100 officials from the Region 3 Fine Arts Office who were marooned with a group of local residents in flooded Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park yesterday said they would stay to watch over the park's ancient artefacts.

Fine Arts Department chief Somsuda Leyavanija said the stranded officials guarding the park, along with the Chawsamphraya National Museum and Chantharakasem National Museum, had insisted on staying because they were worried artefacts might be lost. The department had provided some supplies, but Somsuda urged the provincial governor to assist by sending them more drinking water and food.

A team of rescue workers from Chon Buri equipped with 40 Jetskis based at a coordina?tion centre at Wang Noi Shell Gas Station was helping to transport items into the park and assist victims requesting evacuation to shelters.

The department is collecting donations to help repair flood-damaged ancient sites |in the province via Krung Thai Bank's Rajdamnoen branch, bank account number 081-0-09603-6.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-11

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FLOOD CRISIS

Worst-hit hospitals moving patients

Pongphon Sarnsamak

The Nation

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Dozens evacuated from facilities in Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan, Angthong

A heavily flooded hospital in Ayutthaya has halted services after evacuating all inpatients, including some who were airlifted to the capital.

Ten patients have died at the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hospital over the past three days, but hospital director Dr Weerapon Thirapanjarern insisted their deaths had nothing to with the flooding.

"They were terminal-stage patients. The latest death resulted from a blood infection," he explained.

However, Weerapon said they had decided to shut down temporarily because floods had cut its access to public services.

The transfer of inpatients from Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hospital was complicated. Medical staff had to carry people above flood water to ambulances, which took them to the Woraburi Hotel. A helicopter from Bangkok picked up the more serious from a landing pad marked out near the hospital and carried them to the Lerdsin Hospital.

Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri said the hospital transferred 78 patients to other medical facilities.

Meanwhile, flooding in Ayutthaya continues to worsen.

Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Paijit Warachit said the ministry had instructed its 20 hospitals to keep a close eye on flood levels as the risk grows.

"All hospitals in flood risk areas should shut down medical services on the first floor of their buildings and move equipment up to the safety of higher floors," he said.

Witthaya said mobile medical units had been set up at a temporary shelter at a provincial city hall. Medical teams and psychiatrists were instructed to stand by around the clock in case they were needed to provide emergency treatment.

In Nakhon Sawan, medical staff at the Sawan Pracharak Hospital rushed to evacuate severely ill patients to two nearby hospitals after a massive amount of water from the Chao Phraya River destroyed sandbag barriers and flowed into the town.

Flood water had not yet entered the hospital, but medical staff insisted the evacuations were necessary.

The Public Health Ministry reported that 50 patients needing respiratory devices were sent to Jiraprawat Military Camp Hospital and the Mother and Children Hospital, located five kilometres from Sawan Pracharak hospital.

"We expected the floodwaters would rise up to the first floor of the hospital building," Nakhon Sawan provincial public health office chief, Dr Burares Sriprathak, said.

Over 650 patients were admitted to the Sawan Pracharak hospital, including some who were critically ill.

Burares said the hospital had decided to close the outpatient department but the inpatient unit remained open.

The Public Health Ministry has set up a mobile medical unit to provide treatment for flood-affected people at Phaholyothin intersection. The Jiraprawat Military Camp hospital and Mother and Children hospital were also available for those requiring medical care

At Angthong, patients with serious conditions were being sent to other hospitals. "We are sending patients from our intensive care units elsewhere because they rely on oxygen tanks. Our stocks will last for just one week," the hospital's director Dr Narong Apikulwanich said.

He said the hospital, though still safe for the moment, faced an imminent risk given it was located right by the Chao Phraya, which has burst its banks in several provinces.

Narong pointed out that areas around the hospital were already flooded. A helicopter has surveyed the locality for a likely landing spot where it could pick up patients.

"We have to be fully prepared," he said.

Narong said staff had already moved medical equipment and all items to higher spots to keep them away from water, if it flows in.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-11

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Big boost in MP donation levels

The Nation

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday raised the legal limit on MPs' donations for disaster victims from Bt3,000 to Bt300,000 and Bt3 million for political parties.

Thanis Sripratet, deputy secretary-general of the EC in charge of political party affairs, said EC chairman Apichart Sukhagganond had signed an order to change its rules on donations from political parties and MPs by raising the sum that can be donated to disaster victims. The amount was the same for a general donation, which is limited to Bt3,000.

Previously Pheu Thai MPs suggested a portion of members' salaries should be put aside for donations to help flood victims. It was expected the matter would be tabled in the House meeting tomorrow.

The Democrat Party's shadow Cabinet resolved yesterday to solicit donations worth Bt5 million from its MPs for flood victims. Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, the ‘shadow prime minister', said the decision would be put to the party for approval today.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-11

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Royal Navy team evacuates people cut off by floods

The Nation

A team from the Royal Thai Navy is aiding the effort to rescue residents of an Ayutthaya village cut off by flood water.

Among those assisted by the team was an elderly British woman with heart disease, Rear Admiral Noppadon Supakorn, head of the Navy's Air and Defence Coastal Command, said yesterday.

"The village is in Tambon Hua Ror, which was hit by a flash flood on Friday," Noppadon said.

The team, led by Commander Jaipetch Thongduang, had 101 members and was from Chon Buri, Noppadon said.

There were many submerged motorcycles and cars in the village, the team reported.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-11

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