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Thailand Live Tuesday 25 Oct 2011

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Thailand Live Tuesday 25 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 24 Oct 2011

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THAI CREDITWORTHINESS

Moody's sees no impact from flood damage

THE NATION

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The floods will affect the government's finances, increasing expenditure and depressing revenue, but are not expected to affect the Kingdom's creditworthiness, said Moody's Investors Service.

In its weekly credit-outlook report, prepared by Christian de Guzman, assistant vice president-analyst, Sovereign Risk Group at Moody

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-- The Nation 2011-10-25

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GOOD CAUSE

Helping the helpless

Laurie Rosenthal

The Nation

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Despite often difficult conditions and cantankerous owners, animals rescuers are working hard to save pets and wildlife of all sizes. You can help too

Not only people but animals of all species are suffering from the floods gushing down from the North.

At Wat Suan Kaew in Nonthaburi, more than 1,000 dogs have been rescued from the rising waters, and at least 500 cats. These animals aren't owned by anyone. They had simply been living inside the wat, where monks and laypeople have been feeding them.

At present, the cats are being kept at the temple in a purposebuilt cage still high enough above the water. A number of dogs have been relocated to Kasetsart University, Kampaeng Saen campus, and to the dogrescue sanctuary in Kanchanaburi under Chamlong Srimuang.

Still others are being cared for by volunteer rescuers in their houses.

"The situation is very grim," says Tharinee Wipuchanin, head of the rescue group PicAPet4home.

"A lot of animals have already drowned," she notes, adding, "We are desperate for facilities where our vets can treat dogs needing medical attention and where the dogs will be safe."

Animal rescuers throughout Thailand have been forming adhoc networks to help dogs and cats needing help in flooded areas in the country. As a result, the people saving the animals from certain death are facing unexpected legal battles.

On Thursday, for instance, a rescue group saved 35 purebred dogs from a breeder's flooded house in Bang Bua Thong, Pakkred.

The breeder had simply left them in their cages to drown, while he escaped the flooding.

"Those rescuers were very brave," Tharinee observes. "They had to go in by boat while it was dark to save all these dogs."

The dogs are now with her. "They're in terrible condition," she said. Some are old and blind. One blind chihuahua is pregnant and will probably give birth in two weeks.

At first, the rescuers had been reluctant to break into the man's house to save the animals. By law, they had no right, and the man could sue them for damaging his property. When the rescuers saw the rising waters entering the cages and realised that the man had not moved the cages to higher floors in his house, they felt they had no choice but to take the dogs to safety.

The law, however, considers the dogs to be the breeder's property. He, in fact, has contacted the group and demanded the return of his dogs. Although fearful of costly lawsuits, the rescuers are reluctant to let him have the dogs, since, to them, he hasn't shown them much compassion in their time of need.

The flooding has also exposed another problem wildlife has appeared unexpectedly. News of crocodiles that have escaped from their farms in Ayutthaya has been prominent, but, according to Nantarika Chansue, president of the Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarian Society, in the floods in Pakkred, illegally kept wild animals have also appeared.

Although at the time of writing, precise numbers could not be confirmed, she mentioned that so far, three tigers, between 20 and 30 monkeys and gibbons as well as 300 tortoises of several endangered species have been rescued.

"We haven't been able to snare the escaped bears yet," she said.

Another network, formed by the Veterinary Department of Kasetsart University, the Thai Volunteer Search & Rescue Dog Association and PicAPet4home, have joined forces to bring dog and catfood to flooded areas.

One truckload of petfood more than 2,000 kgs went to Ayutthaya on Thursday [Oct 20], with hundreds of people queuing up for the handouts for their pets.

Much more petfood is needed, says Tharinee, offering a wish list that would help the volunteers:

1. A warehouse or godown in a safe area that has electricity and water facilities

2. Cages of any size

3. The services of trucks high enough to handle the floodwaters

4. Dog and cat food

5. Medicines

6. Old towels

7. People willing to adopt or at least foster the dogs in their homes temporarily

8. Monetary contributions

Anyone who would like to donate food can send it to the KU Veterinary Dept on Phaholyothin Road, or you can contact PicAPet4Home on (089) 669 1690 or (081) 451 2233.

If people prefer to donate money, PicAPet4Home will buy the food and deliver to KU for repacking and distributing. KU will issue a thankyou letter for all donors. Donors should send Tharinee a text message or an email giving your name, address and amount of money or food donated so that the thankyou letter can be arranged.

The bank information is:

Siam Commercial Bank, Chok Chai 4 Branch

Savings account number 1272244999

Account Name: Tharinee Wipuchanin

"Why," a member of the public asked Tharinee, "are you spending so much time, money and effort on animals when so many people are suffering from the floods?"

All the rescuers, Tharinee replied, are worried about people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods.

"But we think we owe something to the animals who depend on us. We cared for them in good times, and now we cannot throw them away in bad times. A life is a life."

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-- The Nation 2011-10-25

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Evacuees shifted to other shelters

The Nation

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Flood evacuees sheltering at Thammasat University (TU) in Rangsit had to be shifted to other shelters or sent back home yesterday after floods swamped the campus.

The news came as Sombat Boonngamanong, president of the Mirror Foundation called for apartment and dormitory landlords not to demand a bond or guarantee from tenants - just collect monthly rental fees to help evacuees.

The foundation also called on the government to support the Tourism Authority and the Local Administration agency by offering home-stay places so evacuees have relaxing places to stay while their homes were flooded.

The Thammasat shelter had housed about 3,800 evacuees, but they had to be relocated after the Rangsit campus was also flooded. Some who live in Ayutthaya decided to go back home, while others were sent to Rajamangala Stadium or Adisorn Military Camp in Saraburi, TU deputy president Prinya Thaewanarumitkul said.

At press time, Prinya said he could not tell how many people remained. He said the shelter was able to take care of those still there. However, their stay may not be as convenient as it was prior to the flooding.

The university asked Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to provide 200 buses to transport them to new shelters.

Ramkhamhaeng University has contacted its students to ask them to do voluntary work and assist relocated evacuees at the National Stadium.

Meanwhile, 1,500 evacuees at Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi's shelter in Pathum Thani also had to be moved to a stadium in Lop Buri when floodwater from Rapeepat Canal broke a dyke and flooded the university.

Half the detainees at Thanyaburi Prison have been evacuated to prisons in Kamphaeng Phet, Phitsanulok and Tak as flood levels rose by 50-80 centimetres in front of the prison yesterday.

About 1,000 of a total 2,200 inmates have been relocated. The prison will move all of them to the other prisons eventually.

Sombat said landlords should collect only monthly rental fees, as evacuees would not be

staying for a long time. He urged them to offer homestay across the country to evacuees for one or two weeks to help ease their stress. The foundation would start the home-stay project in Chiang Rai.

Sombat also wanted private companies to allow employees affected by floods to have a day off while others who had not been hit by the flooding keep working.

More than 2,000 evacuees have taken shelter at the Government Complex in Chang Wattana, while a bottled water shortage has become a major problem. The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority has these people bags of drinking water.

The shelter has got these evacuees involved in activities, including making tray gardens, photo frames, embroidery and krathong (a lotus-shaped vessel) made of cornhusks.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-25

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Bangkok Rugby Sevens cancelled

The Nation

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Flooding in and around Don Muang has forced organisers to cancel the Bangkok Rugby Sevens tournament which was due to be held this weekend.

Chairman of the event David Dufall said 14 foreign teams had been due to fly to Thailand from as far away as France, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia - and he didn't want them to make the trip then not be able to play.

The annual international men's and women's sevens tournaments were scheduled for October 28-30 at the Police Stadium but parts of Don Muang are already under water.

"All tournament sponsors and Thai-based teams have been advised, and arrangements and planning for the 18th annual event, in 2012, will now begin, with many of this year's international teams already committing their support to Bangkok's "best Sevens in Southeast Asia", he said.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-25

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'Hydrobags' to replace sandbags?

The Nation

An innovative, lightweight "hydrobag" from Japan could replace bulky sandbags in the next rainy season.

The bag is made of polyester and filled with a gel that swells when soaked in water, Sak Sekkhunthod, director of the Electronic Government Agency, told a press conference yesterday.

The hydrobag was compact and reusable, he said. Officials were coordinating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to dispatch flood experts to train Thai counterparts in the use of the plastic bag.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-25

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October 28-31 possibly holidays: Sukhumbhand

The Nation

A four-day period starting from October 28 could be announced national holidays, to allow time for Bangkok residents to get themselves ready for flooding, according to Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

He claimed that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra may propose to the Cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday to annnounce the holiday break, when a peak tide is scheduled.

There has not any been news reports earlier about Yingluck mentioning the idea. She is personally against it, as there would be no officials at work sufficiently to fight off flooding or implement preventive measures.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-25

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Emergency hotline 1669 expanded

The Emergency Medical Services' 1669 hotline will be expanded from 150 to 300 lines to cope with the rising demand from flood victims.

The EMS hotline has been swamped with more than 4,300 calls a day since the Central region was inundated. That's considerably up from 2,800 calls a day. The Public Health Ministry will install the extra lines in submerged provinces first.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-25

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Residents in Bangbon, Nong Kam, and Taweewattana are reporting brownish, foul smelling tap water /TAN_Network

Edu Min (Ratchadamnoen Nok Rd) giving out sand, bricks; bring house registration+ID card starting from 7A.M.; call 1579 /TAN_Network

Hotline to check flooded areas in Bkk around the clock 1555, 02-248-5115, 02-221-1212 /TAN_Network

Charansanitwongs Rd in 80 cm-deep water; Pinklao+Lad Krabang traffic passing thru with difficulty because of flood water /TAN_Network

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