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Thailand Live Monday 24 Oct 2011

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Thailand Live Monday 24 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 Sunday 23 Oct 2011

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Vital Kheo Khaika pier dyke repaired

The Nation

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Troops, residents work around the clock to reinforce barrier; Chitralada Palace, Siriraj 'adequately protected' from flood water

The breach of a Chao Phraya River dyke at Kheo Khaika Pier in Dusit district was plugged in time yesterday after soldiers and volunteers worked hard day and night to repair and reinforce the sandbag barrier.

Water was still gushing through a large leak through a fence at nearby Rajinee Bon School but the level was not too high. Both spots are now under surveillance around the clock for any more leakage.

Some nearby residents have evacuated and electricity has been cut off to prevent any short circuits. Sandbags have been stacked up at nearby Bang Krabue Intersection to serve as a backup barrier just in case.

The surge in the Chao Phya near the pier was a temporary "spillover", said Vice Admiral Nirut Hongprasit, chief of the Navy’s Hydrographic Department.

"The peak Chao Phraya swelling reached 2.20 metres above mean sea level (MSL) then, and it is now 1.65 metres," he said.

Both Chitralada Palace and Siriraj Hospital were more than two metres above MSL and adequately protected from floodwater, he said.

A network of communities in threatened Lat Krabang and Lak Si districts issued an open letter calling for immediate measures to address the flood now engulfing Bangkok, include evacuation plans at the district level and an easy-to-understand information service from the government.

In Nonthaburi, Bang Bua Thong district was still severely flooded with assistance not yet reaching stranded residents in many communities. Deliveries of relief supplies were being documented to discourage hoarding by flood victims, which is now reportedly widespread.

Two large crocodiles were sighted in the district - one two metres long near Bang Kruay-Sai Noi Road and the other four metres long at an unspecified location. A shelter in Khema Phirataram Temple along the Chao Phaya off Phibulsongkhram Road has been flooded but the occupants have not moved away. An operation is underway to drain the floodwater and is expected to be completed by today.

Tenants of the Bua Thong housing estate in Bang Bua Thong district complained about not being given relief supplies due to red tape. They, as renters, could not produce house registration papers.

In Samut Sakhon, Preecha Sirisaeng-aramphee, head of a fishery association in Maha Chai district, called for price controls on commodities and flood-relief supplies after locally-made barges were now commanding Bt10,000 instead of the regular price of Bt4,000.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-24

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Expect to be flooded for a month, MP tells Bangkok

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Outspoken Science Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi yesterday urged the government to come clean with the people of Bangkok, as all parts of the capital would be submerged for more than a month.

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STOCK EXCHANGE

2012 Targets to be scaled down

SIRIPORN CHANJINDAMANEE

THE NATION

The Stock Exchange of Thailand plans to lower several targets of its 2012 business plan because of the flood crisis.

"What we have revised downwards in our business plan next year is our target for new listings, for example, in accordance with the new situation. We will propose a new business plan to the SET's board on October 26," said the president of the exchange, Charamporn Jotikasthira.

He said the SET would focus more on promoting mergers and acquisitions as part of the Capital Development Market Plan. It will do this by making the tax rules related to M&A clearer.

"Companies that operate the same business should merge to strengthen their competitiveness, making for lower operation costs. Recently, PTT Aromatics and Refineries and PTT Chemical merged into a new company, |PTT Global Chemical, with combined market capitalisation of Bt240 billion, the largest market cap among listed petrochemical firms."

Chanitr Charnchainarong, vice president of SET, said it would push M&A on to the national agenda, boosting such activities internationally and not just domest-|ically.

The Cabinet has approved relaxing some levies imposed on merged companies.

"Acquiring businesses overseas would give Thai companies a short cut for starting businesses out there," he said.

Chanitr said the SET was looking into how to boost M&A by small Thai companies and not only large ones.

Given the financial crises in other countries, Thai firms should be ready to buy cheap assets overseas. Currently, only 15-20 of the SET's 50 largest listed companies (those in SET50 Index) have plans to go abroad.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-24

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Later semester for floodprone

The Nation

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The new semester for all Bangkokrun schools, not just those in nine districts, will now open on November 15.

Makeup classes will be held on weekends, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said in a statement yesterday.

On Friday, Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said 116 BMA schools in the nine districts at risk of flooding would delay their second semester to November 15, but all other schools would start the new term as scheduled on November 1.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-24

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RTAF provide shelters, police offer routes to the north

The Nation

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The Royal Thai Air Force has opened two shelters within its Don Mueang compound to accommodate 500 flood evacuees.

The shelters are located inside the RTAF Chantharubeksa stadium and nearby RTAF Noncommissioned Officers Club, said spokesman Air Vice Marshall Monthol Satchukorn.

A C130 cargo plane yesterday airlifted 23 seriously ill patients to and from various hospitals in and outside Bangkok. Another 58 patients and 40 relatives from Thammasat University hospital north of Bangkok were moved to Maharaj hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima.

After the flooding of many key roads, the Highways Police Department has advised several alternate routes heading to the North and Northeast.

People heading north may use the Outer Ring Road, then Rangsit Nakhon Nayok road, then enter Saraburi at Hing Kong intersection, then to Lop Buri and Route 11. Northeast bound motorists should use Route 305, then Kaeng Khoi intersection, and Mitraphab road to Nakhon Ratchasima.

An Abac Poll survey found that respondents were tired of political games between Pheu Thai and Democrat Parties’ during their handling of the current flood situation.

Of 1,305 people surveyed on October 1522, 81 per cent said they wanted to see cooperation between the coalition and opposition parties, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. A large portion said they were hearing about political conflict during the relief operations caused suffering.

The respondents also called for solutions to handle flood and water management in the long run: onestop centres in all provinces to enable easy implementation of postflood relief efforts; a fund to support such efforts; an information centre where residents living in frequently flooded areas can access details useful in an emergency.

They also called for an independent body to monitor and evaluate the government’s flood relief works; and a government regulated mechanism to make sure flood victims received assistance equally or proportionally to damage caused.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-24

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Migrant workers given flood refuge

The Nation

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A shelter has been set up in a temple just west of Bangkok for migrant workers affected by the floods.

The government has designated RaiKhing Temple in Nakhon Pathom an evacuation centre for Burmese workers to try to prevent more from heading home because of the crisis, which has forced of thousands of factories to shut down.

With industrial estates in Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan and northern Bangkok swamped and many factories closed, tens of thousands of Burmese have returned home after being temporarily left without work.

The move yesterday to set up the shelter follows comments by the Lawyers Council of Thailand, which said migrant workers had been turned away from evacuation centres set up for people and workers displaced by the floods.

The announcement came on the same day that more than 2,000 Burmese hired trucks to take them from Pathum Thani, just north of the capital, back to Mae Sot, from where they will cross back to their homeland.

Government officials have said they would prefer registered Burmese workers to remain and would find work for them instead of having them return home.

More info: call 08 98141584 Anurat at Ministry of Labour.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-24

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PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT:

Floods in the Inner Districts of Bangkok Controllable (24/10/2011)

The flooding situation in the inner districts of Bangkok is controllable, but the situation in Don Mueang and Lak Si districts is still worrisome. As Bangkok is the country’s most important economic area, measures have been implemented to protect the city from flooding.

At the Flood Relief Operations Center in Don Mueang, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that since flood water is passing through Bangkok before being released into the sea, Bangkok residents might be affected by the huge volume of water.

Even so, she said, flood water in the city is likely to be between 50 centimeters and one meter high, depending on the situation in each area.

In his explanation of the situation in Bangkok, former Director-General of the Royal Irrigation Department, Pramote Maiklad, who is also a water expert, said that the water level in the city is now stable and will be changed following high tides. An overflow problem might occur, but it would be under control by all relevant agencies.

Speaking at the Flood Relief Operations Center, Mr. Pramote stated that flood water would be drained into the inner districts of Bangkok under appropriate controls. After that, it would be released into the Chao Phraya River and later into the sea. Officials would take necessary steps to ensure the least impact on the local residents.

Minister of Science and Technology Plodprasop Suraswadi said that, based on an assessment, stagnant flood water would remain for about one month, or one month and a half. The most critical period for Bangkok would be this week when the water level is high.

He said that officials had created better understanding with the local people who gave good cooperation by not obstructing the opening of sluice gates. With good cooperation, he believed that the situation would continue to improve.

Experts believe that following high tides by the end of October, the water level in the Chao Phraya River will return to normalcy, thus enabling the river to accommodate more stagnant water from various areas, and the flooding situation will ease.

Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department

Source; http://thailand.prd.go.th/view_inside.php?id=5940

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Boat services on Saen Saeb Canal are working today from Wat Sribunruang to Pratunam /via @js100radio

Chao Phraya express boats have stopped running until 7th November. Call 02-6236001-3 /via @js100radio /via@RichardBarrow

Highest tide level of 24 Oct; 02.59AM (1.70 m. MSL) & 04.36PM (2.28 m. MSL) (via @js100radio ) /via@Porpich

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