SHWEBO, MYANMAR, 12 November 2012: A powerful earthquake which hit Myanmar Sunday killed at least 13 people, injured dozens and sparked panic in the major central city of Mandalay, residents and aid workers said.
The shallow 6.8-magnitude quake struck in a rural area 116 kilometres (72 miles) north of Mandalay followed by a series of aftershocks, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
Another strong quake with a magnitude of 5.8 shook the same region late Sunday, it added. The tremor was felt by an AFP team near the town of Shwebo, which is north of Mandalay and close to the epicentre of the earlier quake.
PHUKET, 29 August 2012: All 41 tourists, three boat crew and a guide were rescued safely from a speedboat, Monday, that took on water and sank in heavy swells as it approached Phi Phi Island.
The boat crew allegedly ignored weather advisories that recommended all small boats to stay close to shore due to heavy swells and storm conditions in the Andaman Sea.
Owner of the boat, Luk Pradu 26, is under investigation and could face criminal charges if it is proven the boat was unsafe or was operating illegally.
RANONG, 9 August 2012: Ranong Tourism Council is urging the government to establish a disaster relief fund specifically to support local business operators affected by natural disasters.
Ranong Tourism Council president and Tourism Council of Thailand Region 10 executive member, Nit Ouitekkheng, said investor confidence was shaken by news of recurring natural catastrophes in the region.
“To safeguard the future of the tourism sector, local business operators near the Andaman Sea, which is one of the risk areas, should be able to tap a disaster relief fund to provide cover for losses.”
BANGKOK, 23 April 2012: A series of aftershocks in Phuket a popular tourist destination in South Thailand are spooking tourists and forcing tour operators to re-arrange their domestic tours.
Association of Domestic Travel president, Maiyarat Pheerayakoses, said recent earthquakes and aftershocks in Phuket, last week, posed a psychological impact on Thai holiday-makers far more than for overseas visitors.
“Local tour operators who earlier planned to visit Phuket and nearby provinces during the current school holidays have reviewed travel plans.”
GIGLIO ISLAND, 17 January 2012: Emergency workers searched Tuesday for 29 people missing from an Italian cruise disaster which killed six as the ship’s captain faced an interrogation on accusations that he veered wildly off course.
The head of the Italian coastguard, Marco Brusco, said there was “a glimmer of hope” for finding more survivors since the giant half-submerged vessel had not yet been fully inspected, but rescuers said the chances were now slim.
Brusco said four crew members and 25 tourists including six Italians remained unaccounted for. A German official said at least 10 German nationals were still missing and two US nationals were also believed lost in the tragedy.
BANGKOK, 1 November 2011 – Bangkok Metropolitan Administration reported Tuesday that lower high tides in the Chao Phraya River estuary had eased the situation, but city residents still faced the threat of floods from run off from the northern suburbs and neighbouring provinces.
Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the water level in the river at 2.44 metres above Mean Sea Level was below the estimated level of 2.50 metres and eased the flood threat in districts near the river.
The next round of above average high tides are due in mid-November giving the city time to prepare and deal with the imminent danger of run-off water coming mainly from northern suburbs.
BANGKOK, 1 November 2011 – Travel advisories on Thailand are warning travellers to avoid Bangkok and 26 other provinces in central Thailand.
The warnings were first issued in September when floods inundated provinces north of Thailand. In the region, Hong Kong and Macau issued the strongest warnings, followed by China which is recommending tour companies divert groups to other Asian destinations.
So far there 26 provinces have suffered flooding and 381 people have died in the disaster. Around 10,000 Bangkok residents are now in evacuation centres after they were forced to leave their homes in northern suburbs.
BANGKOK, 25 October 2011 – Bangkok’s canals are straining under the pressure of millions of cubic metres of water flowing in from Pathum Thani province and the north, causing heavy flooding northern and eastern suburbs.
Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra issued the 4th flood warning, Monday, to city residents in six areas north and north east to brace themselves for the approaching flood water.
But even as he spoke water was rushing through housing estates and highways close to Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport.
BANGKOK, 21 October 2011- Don Mueang and Laksi districts were declared flood-risk zones, in the early hours of today, after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration agreed to open canal gates in northern districts to drain water to the river estuary.
Bangkok governor, Sukhumbhand Paribatra, warned residents in Don Mueang and Laksi districts that there was a risk of some flooding in city districts once sluice gates were opened.
On Wednesday, a similar warning was issued to residents in Sai Mai, Klongsamwa, Bang Khen, Nong Chok, Min Buri, Lat Krabang, and Kannayao northeast and eastern city suburbs. Read more
BANGKOK, 20 October 2011 – Association of Thai Travel Agents said, Wednesday, authorities need to report accurately and update the flood crisis information for tourists particularly in the international market to build confidence the country.
ATTA president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, said flooding is now a national disaster on par with the political battles last years.
“ This is the worst flood disaster in 50 years, wiping out communities and the economy in the central plains and ruining our chances of earning revenue from domestic tourism.”