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Chiang Mai Mayor progress report one year on

Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn points out the flood map for Chiang Mai, noting the drainage from Doi Suthep into the city. (Photo by Ronnakit Norkham

By Shana Kongmun

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn was interviewed by the Chiang Mai Mail a little more than a year ago and at that time said he felt it was better to assign a few tasks, complete them and move on. One year on and we came back to ask, “Has he completed the tasks he assigned himself and what does he plan for the upcoming year?”
A year ago he said he planned on finishing the Municipal Building that had been under construction for 7 years and since the new offices have now moved into the finished building, getting what was becoming referred to as the “700 year building” completed and occupied in a year certainly qualifies.

Another task he set himself was the completion of the Railway Park. Sadly, the city is still in the middle of a legal dispute with the contractor, but the park is now open and ready to use although there are still some improvements that can be made.
Another task he set was to complete the burial of cables along Chang Klan and Ta Phae Road, a monumental task that had been proposed many years prior, and which finally came to fruition as reported in October.

When asked what his goals were for the coming year, as a part of his plan to take things a step at a time, Mayor Tussanai said he hopes to open another public garden, better improve flood prevention for the city, and improve the waste system by increasing recycling of plant materials into compost and a plan to introduce a methane power plant from the city’s landfill which, if it comes to fruition will sell the electricity back to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). This will not only offer a cleaner fuel source but save the city at least 20 million Baht a year. The Mayor noted that this plan was still in the pipeline but he hopes to have it started in the next year or so.

He said they are currently working on flood control issues in Chiang Mai and have been doing so for quite some time. The Mayor noted that while they started sandbagging heavily over a month ago, sandbags must be replaced daily as they often disappear. Area residents have requested that sandbags be placed when it looks like it’s going to flood but as Mayor Tussanai pointed out, this isn’t feasible, the bags take time to fill and move and require a lot of manpower. The Mayor added that the sandbags will remain in place at least until the end of October when the rainy season normally ends.

Both the Ping River and the canals have been dredged with the Mae Kha canal flowing directly into the river. Additionally, pumping stations have been placed around the city to alleviate flooding in city streets. The Mayor said that when Nock Ten hit earlier this month the river rose 2 meters in 3 days, with the sandbags already in place playing a key role in reducing flooding. Additionally, with the dredging, the river can flow fast enough to keep it from backing up. The main concern he pointed out is if Chiang Mai got hit by two storms subsequently, the water volume would be more than the river could cope with.

Other plans in the pipeline include renovation plans for Suan Buak Hat Park to make it more handicap accessible including adding handicapped facilities in the bathrooms. Road repairs to some of the major roads that have had damage but that will take place after the end of the rainy season, since, as he pointed out, fixing them in the rainy season would be very difficult and simply make the roads worse from sand and dirt everywhere. The Municipality has added two bus routes, one from Chang Phuak Bus Station up to Nakorn Ping Hospital and back into town, inside the moat and back to Chang Phuak station, the other from the Arcade Bus Station to Central Airport Plaza then out to the Night Safari and back into town. He noted that some other buses running in town were private ventures privately funded and staffed.

A new museum will be opening opposite 3 Kings Monument and will focus on Chiang Mai city history and culture; the location will make it more accessible for tourists. Another plan that will come to fruition soon will be two hotlines that people can call for help and information, and consolidate the current 20 or so that list every office in the city. He plans to staff this call center with handicapped people to give them greater opportunities.

Another major goal for the Mayor and his team is to improve education for the poorer schoolchildren going to municipal schools by creating a learning center that will offer extracurricular tuition and learning for these students. Another plan is to implement what the Mayor calls Lanna 101 classes.

“Education comes from the Central government and teaches everyone the same thing, even me,” the Mayor said. “If I hadn’t read about Chiang Mai history, I wouldn’t know it. Chiang Mai students don’t learn the history of their own city or culture. If you want to save your culture, students need to learn about it.”

He noted that he is aware of the many issues that face Chiang Mai but added that they can’t all be tackled at once and that budget constraints always play a role in how much and how quickly things can be achieved.


Mae Sariang residents receive improved medical services

Japanese government donates vehicles and equipment

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), provided funds amounting to 3,168,000 baht for “The Project for the Improvement of Medical Referral Systems and Health Services in Mountainous Areas in Mae Sariang District, Mae Hong Son Province”. On August 30, 2011, Mr. Kazuo Shibata, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Dr. Toemchai Temyingyong, Director of Mae Sariang Hospital, were present at the donation ceremony of vehicles and equipment at Mae Sariang Hospital.

Universal healthcare coverage in Thailand has allowed many people to access basic medical treatment more easily and free of charge. However, the regional disparity in terms of opportunities for medical treatment still remains.

Mae Sariang Hospital is a community hospital, covering Mae Sariang District and a part of Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province. 80% of the area comprises mountain and 60% of the residents are from ethnic minorities. Since many roads in this mountainous area are unpaved, and transport and communication to villages limited, it is difficult to bring patients to hospitals quickly in an emergency.

In addition, for people living in such remote areas, it is not easy to access health and medical services. In order that more people can enjoy the services, the Hospital has operated a new mobile clinic service targeted on remote and mountainous villages since 2010. The mobile clinic team, composed of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and health staff, visits each household in the targeted villages to provide medical treatment, medical check-ups, and advice on health.

However, vehicles and equipment in good condition, essential for emergency transport, life saving, and local health services, are currently lacking at the Hospital.

In response to a request from Mae Sariang Hospital, the Government of Japan has provided funds for a 4WD ambulance and a 4WD pick-up truck for the mobile clinic service, able to run on unpaved mountain roads, a transportable incubator to keep infants warm and transfer them in emergency cases, and a defibrillator for emergency life saving.

In Northern Thailand, the Government of Japan has supported various medical institutions tackling health and medical problems in mountainous areas. It is expected that this assistance for Maesariang Hospital will strengthen the emergency transport system and health services in Maesariang District and neighboring areas, helping the health and medical services to reach all, and reducing the regional disparity.

For more information on this program or on receiving grant assistance for your project please contact Mr. Sato, Consul, or Ms. Sensui, Coordinator for GGP, Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai. 053-203-367. (PR)


Chiang Mai Creative City first anniversary

Mr. Chairat Usavangkul, the Managing Director of Within Design Co. Ltd and Ping Nakara Hotel receives the certificate appointing him as a Chiang Mai Creative City Goodwill Ambassador from Dr. Nat Vorayos of the CMCC.

Members of the Chiang Mai Creative City Committee and Goodwill Ambassadors join for a group photo on their 1st anniversary general meeting.

By Shana Kongmun

The Chiang Mai Creative City Committee (CMCC) held a general meeting on their first anniversary, announcing the Goodwill Ambassadors Program as well as the implementation of regular coffee mornings that won’t be exclusive to committee members.

They reviewed the past year and discussed the formation of the committee when a group of like minded people met to use creativity and innovation to further develop Chiang Mai’s economy, “We don’t want to change the city radically,” committee member Martin Venzky-Stalling pointed out, “but to broaden its economic base.” He noted that despite the huge amount of students in the city, most must leave in order to find jobs, a terrible brain drain that the CMCC would like to find ways of stopping.

CMCC was formed a year ago with then Chiang Mai Governor Amonrapun Nimanandh, and current Chiang Mai Goodwill Ambassador, appointed 24 members to the committee. It has since grown to with current governor ML Panadda Diskul, adding more. Recent members include representatives from the Department of Industrial Promotion, the SME Bank, Ratchamangkala University, and the Department of Export Promotion. The committee is made up of representatives from the province’s universities, the private sector, local government and government agencies and community agencies.

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul and Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn were both involved in the decision to apply for the UNESCO Creative City designation with a focus on arts and handicrafts. The Cultural Section of the Governor’s Office, CMU and the Office of Contemporary Culture and Arts at the Ministry of Culture expect to have the application completed and submitted at the end of the year.

More recently has been the appointment of Chiang Mai Creative City Goodwill Ambassadors that include the former Governor of Chiang Mai, Annette Kunagigon, Irish Representative in Northern Thailand and owner of Eagle Guesthouse, Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, the Secretary General of the Thailand Board of Investment, Pim Kemasingki, Managing Editor of Citylife Magazine, Dr. Pisit Leeahtam the Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Chiang Mai University, Mr. Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, CEO of SPB Software Inc., Lamorna Cheeseman of Studio Naenna, and more.

The CMCC is now working on a longer term roadmap working with local businesses and community groups and is either organizing or joining with other organizations in setting up events to help move the creative economy project along.


Police volunteer training

Members of the local community who volunteered to help police underwent training at the Municipal offices on August 25, 2011. Chiang Mai Deputy Mayor Nutchudej Wiriyadiloktham presided over the certificate ceremony and chaired much of the seminar as head of the training. Police volunteers are recruited to help keep peace and stability and can contact police quickly in the event of emergencies or crime.


Flooding in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai

All 25 districts of Chiang Mai declared disaster zone over the weekend

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district suffered severe flooding over the weekend as overflowing rivers saw low lying areas deluged. The border market was closed due to flooding over the weekend. The authorities were monitoring the dams over concerns they would overflow. In Chiang Mai Governor Panadda Diskul declared all 25 districts were declared disaster areas due to flooding after continuous rain had seen many river overflow their banks. San Kamphaeng was hard hit by the floods where more than 1,000 houses were affected by water levels higher than 80 cm.

Lamphun remains inundated with all eight districts in the Province reporting flooding. More than 37,000 people in 415 villages have been affected by the continuous rains. Flooding damaged large areas of agricultural land, houses, roads and bridges and several districts reported landslides but there have been no further causalities since Nock Ten hit hard earlier in the month.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department Director-General Vibul Sanguanpong said that 30 provinces had declared disaster areas and that the flooding which has killed 41 people in 13 provinces has affected nearly 3.5 million people. The government continues with disaster relief and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra plans to visit affected areas for inspection.

The Thailand Meteorological Department is warning that La Nina conditions could exacerbate the flooding problems as the rains are expected to continue beyond the normal rainy season. Scattered to fairly widespread thundershowers and isolated heavy rains are forecast for the rest of the week as the TMD warnings of potential landslides and flashfloods remain in effect.


Karng Suea Ten Dam cannot ease floods

The latest survey by Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) has indicated that the construction of the Keang Suea Ten Dam in Phrae is unable to help ease flood problems in the lower north as anticipated.

According to Asst. Prof. Dr. Anon Sanitwong na Ayutthaya, acting director of GISTDA, the satellite images have shown that the Kaeng Suea Ten Dam can store only 10 to 20 percent of floodwater due to the dam’s unfavorable location. Such an amount means the long suspended project does not help solve flood problems as the previous governments have believed.

The construction of the Kaeng Suea Ten Dam in Phrae province, which is aimed at solving flood and drought problems in the lower north, has been put on hold for decades amid protests by local residents and environmentalists who fear the project would bring about severe damage to the ecological system.

Calls for the Kangsuaten project have been revived following devastating floods in Sukhothai and Uttaradit provinces.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Anon said that deforestation and sedimentary deposits in the Yom River could have caused flooding. (NNT)


Nigerian arrested for cocaine trafficking

Chiang Mai Provincial Police arrested a 30 year old Nigerian man for allegedly smuggling cocaine at the Chiang Mai International Airport. Acting on a tipoff that someone would be smuggling cocaine they searched his person and luggage but found no drugs. However, the suspect agreed to an x-ray which showed the cocaine hidden in a plastic bag inside his rectum.

A further two Thai nationals were arrested; one woman allegedly had 20 grams of cocaine hidden in her bra when she was arrested at the Arcade Bus Station. Police said there had been a recent influx of cocaine into Chiang Mai, mainly selling to tourists and students late at night. The police said cocaine use among students in Chiang Mai has been on the rise and are hoping that this arrest will lead to further information and arrests of people smuggling and selling cocaine.


Quirky photos from around Thailand

While a recent reader wrote in concerned that these photos were a form of ridicule, as a contributor pointed out when he sent in his photo, he loves seeing these signs as they show the lighter side of life in Thailand. Perhaps rather than poking fun, he pointed out, it is rather more celebrating the differences and enjoying them for what they are.

Readers are invited to send in their photos, fun and lighthearted of course, to [email protected] Please be sure to let us know where you saw the photo!

Iain sent in this photo from the Tesco Hang Dong,
noting that this helps him pick up the local lingo!

Regular contributor Ron sent in this warning sign that is very clear about the dangers of walking on the grass.


Mae Kuang dam is filling up

Flash flood warnings issued for at risk areas

Wattana Jirakachinda, the Director of the Mae Kuang Udomtara Dam in Doi Saket District issued a notice on Friday, August 19, 2011 that the dam was nearing capacity due to the regular rains and had reached 82 percent capacity. He added that the Nock Ten storm that struck the North at the beginning of the month had sent 12 million cubic meters of water into the dam. The 73 m high dam can hold 263 million cubic meters of water. Given the current rainfall, the average daily flow of water into the dam is 2 million cubic meters.

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul toured the Mae Kuang Dam and Mae Ping Dam to see the situation and has ordered all associated agencies to help with evacuation should the dam overflow and distributed relief to villagers in San Kamphaeng and Doi Saket that are inundated from the heavy rains.

The Meteorological Department said on Friday that the North and Northeast still had a strong monsoon trough with heavy rain and isolated very heavy rains likely over much of the North and Northeast. People in areas along foothills and near waterways are warned of severe weather and flash flood during the next few days.


CDC results released on Chiang Mai deaths

The Department for Disease Control released their findings on the deaths of five tourists and a Thai national tour guide on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 and the report showed that despite months of investigation and testing, no specific causes of death could be pinpointed.

The investigation into the deaths of 6 people and the related illness of three traveling companions who died in January and February of this year involved experts from the Department of Disease Control, the Department of Medical Sciences at the Ministry of Public Health, scientists from the World Health Organization, the United States Center for Disease Control, and provincial and national health and poisons offices.

The first cases recorded were the death of an American woman and the illness of a Canadian woman travelling with her on January 11, 2011. The two women stayed at a hotel in the city when they fell ill. Tests were inconclusive but it is believed her death was caused by a chemical or biotoxin of some kind, perhaps some kind of rat poison.

The second case involved a French woman who arrived in Chiang Mai on January 19, 2011 and had developed symptoms of illness before her arrival in Chiang Mai. Results show that it appears she died of some kind of viral infection unrelated to any of the other deaths.

The third case involved three New Zealand girls who fell ill on February 3 and a Thai tourist guide who was found dead on that same day in the same hotel, a hotel not related to the two previous hotels. Sarah Carter died 3 days later while her two travelling companions recovered. It was her death and her parents’ struggles to find a cause of death that pushed these cases to national and international attention.

The CDC believes these two deaths are linked and that their deaths were probably caused by exposure to some toxic chemical, pesticide or gas, but the agent can not be identified.
The fourth case involved an elderly British couple who died on February 19 in the same hotel as the New Zealand girl and the Thai woman. Tests revealed no abnormal results but the possibility that the deaths are related was not excluded from their findings.

The CDC reported that over 350 drug, chemical and organism tests were done on each death in laboratories in Thailand and overseas but no definitive answers could be found.
Thai authorities plan on implementing measures to reduce the risks of exposure to pesticides and chemicals including requiring hotel operators to use only licensed pest control companies where the chemicals used are clearly specified and samples will be collected twice a year for testing by authorities.

Retailers of household and agricultural pesticides must declare a watch list of products and provincial health office will carry out periodic checks on these items. Additionally food safety standards at street stalls and eateries will be revised to assure compliance with regulations.

The full report can be found at www.ddc.moph.go.th.


Chiang Mai implements SRRT teams to combat health issues

Chiang Mai Municipality held workshops to develop fast moving teams or SRRT (Surveillance and Rapid Response Team) to investigate health outbreaks at the district level in Chiang Mai city. More than 200 health volunteers from around Chiang Mai city joined the workshop chaired by Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn on August 15, 2011. The teams are being formed to investigate outbreaks of influenza and dengue resulting from the heavy rains in the ongoing rainy season.


PM visits Chiang Mai to follow up flood problem

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited the northern province of Chiang Mai to follow up assistance to flood victims, while reiterating she has no policy to return the diplomatic passport to ex premier Thaksin, her self-exiled brother.

After her trip to flood-hit provinces of Sukhothai, Nan, and Phrae on Saturday, Ms Yingluck on Sunday travelled to her hometown of Chiang Mai. Greeted by her Red Shirt supporters, she went pay respect to ancestors at a temple.

She said she had ordered ministers to tackle the flooding problems and for governors to monitor the situation and to report to her. The prime minister also assigned the transport minister to follow up on fixing roads cut off by floods in Mae Hong Son.

She ordered all agencies concerned to find measures to prevent floods as it is still several months before the rainy season ends. (MCOT online news)


A rainy Mother’s Day doesn’t dampen festivities

Newly elected Member of Parliament Tussanee Buranupakorn presided over the candle lighting ceremony in honor HM the Queen’s 79th birthday.

By Shana Kongmun

Despite the intermittent rains that took place on Friday evening, August 10, the celebrations for HM Queen Sirikit’s 79th birthday and Mother’s Day went off with only a few delays at Tha Pae Gate at 7 p.m.

This little girl very solemnly sang the Royal anthem and that of HM the Queen at the candle ceremony at Tha Pae Gate on Friday, August 12 in celebration of HM Queen Sirikit’s birthday and Mother’s Day.

The newly elected Member of Parliament for Chiang Mai Tussanee Buranupakorn presided over the event, lighting the ceremonial candle and then walking around the gathered crowd to pass the flame.

The sight of so many people turned out, with candles lit and singing the Royal anthem and then that of the Queen, in honor of a woman who has worked tirelessly to help the nation.

The day started with Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn releasing fish into the Ping River in honor of HM the Queen, and culminated in a fireworks show, awards for Best Mother, cultural performances and a Mother-Child fashion show. Around the city there were events at Kad Suan Kaew, Central Airport Plaza, the Chiang Mai Night Safari and more.

Best Mother Awards were handed out to mums from around the city with one spritely 78 year old mother braving the rain for her award. Families of all ages gathered for the event and oohed and aahed at the fireworks show. Events continue through the weekend at Tha Pae Gate and include awards for Best Drawing for their mother on Sunday.

Cultural performances in honor HM the Queen kept both tourists and locals entertained during a light drizzle of rain.

This spritely elderly lady was one of the recipients of the Best Mother Award.

The Mother – Child Fashion Show featured lovely ladies from around the city.
Here Raya Luelai is preparing to take the stage with her two children.


Dengue fever warning issued

Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disease Control MD Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said that the public should take care to prevent mosquitoes as the heavy rains have increased the breeding areas for mosquitoes. The warning was issued for both dengue fever and malaria as numbers of infected people continue to rise.

According to the Public Health Ministry from January to June this year 23,324 people became infected with the dengue virus. 13 victims died. 52 percent of the cases involved patients between the age of 10 and 24. Small children and the elderly are most at risk of suffering severe symptoms. Those who develop a high fever for more than two days should go to a hospital immediately for treatment.

A researcher from the National Institute of Health recently proved that dengue mosquitoes bite both at night and in the daytime and that a single mosquito can carry two different strains of dengue at the same time and passes the disease down to the larvae.

The Department of Disease Control stresses the need to empty all containers holding standing water as the mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Additionally, larvacide can be used to treat larger bodies of water. The trade name is known as Abate.

The heavy continuous rains and flooding in the North have led to areas being inundated and stagnant pools of water.


More Quirky Pics

I think many Chiang Mai residents have seen this tuk tuk driver’s “advertisement” taking the place of the usual ziplining or elephant camp ads!

Every expat has their favorite funny “engrish” signs but we aren’t always quick enough on the draw to snap a photo. In these days of camera phones, however, you shouldn’t let that slow you down! Send in your favorite funnies to [email protected].

Someone forgot to check their spelling
and came out with this rather interesting dish.


Happy Birthday to HM Queen Sirikit

The Chiang Mai Mail would like to wish Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit a very happy birthday on the occasion of her 79th birthday on August 12, 2011. Not only is August 12 HM the Queen’s birthday but also the day on which Thailand celebrates Mother’s Day. We would like to also wish all mother’s everywhere a very happy Mother’s Day and remind everyone to take the time to do something wonderful for their mothers this Friday.


Flash flood warnings

Nock Ten inundated the North and further rains are bringing flash flood warnings for Chiang Mai and other northern provinces. (Photo by Ron Lister)

As many parts of the North remain inundated, the rains, which had abated after Nock Ten hit beginning July 25, have returned. The Thai meteorological Department and the Center for Disaster Mitigation and Prevention have issued flash flood warnings to people living near hills and streams or rivers in the Northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Lamphun, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Tak and Phrae. Central and other Northern and Northeastern provinces have also been alerted. The intermittent heavy rains will continue to the 11th.

Local media reports that authorities are preparing to evacuate residents of Baan Huaypho in the Mae Sariang district of Mae Hong Son after a 300 meter crack and subsidence was detected on a hillside overlooking the village. Authorities fear that further rains will bring landslides.

San Sai in Chiang Mai was heavily inundated in the rains from Nock Ten with some areas under a meter of water while all 16 districts of Lampang were declared disaster zones. Two people died in Chiang Mai, 6 in Phrae and 7 people from a hilltribe shelter in Mae Hong Son who were killed when a flash flood smashed into their shelters, several others were injured in the flooding and one person remains missing. The flooding has affected more than a million people in 21 provinces so far and further problems are expected as the flood waters move south.


German tourist arrested for passing fake banknotes

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

A young German tourist was arrested by the Chiang Mai police in the early hours of Monday, August 8, 2011 at his guesthouse after he had allegedly passed a counterfeit 500 baht note to a local tuk tuk driver who reported it to the police after he attempted to purchase items at a convenience store.

Simon Fuchs was arrested by the Muang District Police at 2 a.m. and police report that they uncovered an inkjet printer and several counterfeit 100 and 500 baht notes in his room. The police contacted reported the arrest of the German national to the German Honorary Consulate.


Flood damage assessed

1 death in Chiang Mai

A dredge sunk in the fast moving waters. (Photo by Ron Lister)

By MCOT

Thailand’s floods triggered by tropical storm Nock-Ten have killed at least 13 while one person is missing, according to Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department Director-General Wiboon Sanguanpong.

The disaster response chief said that the 13 deaths included one each in Chiang Mai, Sukhothai and Udon Thani, seven persons in Mae Hong Son, two victims in Phrae and one person in Sukhothai.

Heavy rainfall flooded 16 provinces mostly in the North and Northeast, including Phrae, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Nan, Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Uttaradit, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Phanom, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bung Kan and Sakon Nakhon and Prachuap Khiri Khan.

The river opposite the Army barracks flooded considerably.(Photo by Ron Lister)

Mr Wiboon said the flooding affected over 235,900 households, damaged 217 homes, destroyed 449,631 rai (about 179,000 acres) of crops and damaged roads, dykes, bridges and that 474 livestock have drowned.

Regarding initial relief for the flood victims, provincial disaster offices have been urged to coordinate with related agencies and to urgently distribute relief supplies to the affected residents. Local disaster officials were assigned to dispatch flat bottom boats to evacuate and provide needed equipment, and drinking water trucks to help flood victims.

Meanwhile, northern run-off flowed into rising Nan River, causing extensive floods in several downstream provinces along the river. In Phichit, torrential water in the Nan River swept away an iron pontoon raft, used for building a bridge over the river, which was moored to the riverbank. The raft stuck and damaged the foundations of a concrete bridge. The governor has worked to find the owner of the raft to salvage it. Commuters using the bridge are afraid the structure will collapse due to the collision.

The Yom River, carrying floodwaters from upper Phrae and Sukhothai provinces, has submerged paddy fields in Phitsanulok’s Phrom Phiram district. Farmers called for the government to respond to the problems caused by repeated floods in the area. The abbot of Ratburana temple in the provincial seat distributed necessities such food and water to local residents.

In Tak, forest run-off joined the waters of the swollen Moei River to flood Thasongyang district. The Third Army Region commander ordered Army Rangers to provide first aid to flood victims and to search for victims after reports that people along the Moei River were swept away with their houses and were probably drowned in the incident. All boats plying the river have been ordered to fly Thai flags to prevent misunderstandings by Myanmar troops.

The Chiang Mai disaster prevention and mitigation office estimated that the floods in the province were likely to cause at least Bt70 million (US$2.33 million) in total losses and damage.

In Lamphun, overflowing water from the Mae Kuang River continued to recede, but riverside residents remain worried about the possibility of more rain and run-off.


Donations for the needy

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul, President of the PAO Boonlert Buranupakorn and Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn hand donation checks to needy citizens of Chiang Mai.

Governor ML Panadda Diskul was joined by President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn and Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn in donating money to help the elderly, disabled and poor in four pilot municipalities at a ceremony held on August 5, 2011.

Each man donated 1,000 baht to launch the project with Governor ML Panadda Diskul donating 1,000 Baht to 70 year old widow living with her granddaughter, Mayor Tussanai donated 1,000 Baht to an 80 year old woman taking care of her severely disabled 62 year old daughter and the President of the PAO Boonlert donated 1,000 Baht to an 88 year old destitute woman living alone and 1,000 Baht to a 42 year old woman whose husband has had a stroke and son wants to remain in school.

Donations for these and other needy people are part of a pilot project to be distributed on a monthly basis.

Members of the public gathered at the Chiang Mai Municipal Department of Public Welfare office to receive publicly donated funds meant for those suffering hardship, such as the elderly and children.


EMERGENCY

Municipal staff and officials were joined by Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn in packing emergency supplies for victims of flooding in Chiang Mai at the Municipal offices on Tuesday, August 2, 2011.


Chiang Mai applies for UNESCO Creative City designation

By Shana Kongmun

A representative from the Ministry of Culture joined Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul in signing the application for UNESCO Creative City of Culture designation in the field of Arts and Crafts. The signing took place at the Mon Fai Museum behind Lanna Hospital on August 5, 2011.

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul and representatives from the Ministry of Culture were joined by members of the Chiang Mai Creative City Committee to enjoy the traditional performances and Northern Thai food on offer at the traditional old teak house that has been converted into a Lanna museum.


Chef McDang charity dinner postponed

The charity dinner to be held at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai and hosted by Chef McDang has been postponed until November as the country mourns the passing of the only child of King Rama VI, HRH Princess Bejaratana. The date will be announced once HRH Princess Soamsawali confirms.


Nock-ten brings heavy rains and flooding across the North

Chiang Mai residents joined Army soldiers and municipal employees in sandbagging key areas along the Ping River over the weekend.

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

Despite efforts by the Chiang Mai Municipality in dredging the river and clearing out vegetation to increase the flow of water along the Ping, the heavy rains over the weekend and beginning of the week resulted in very high levels of water in the Ping River. Municipal employees, Royal Thai Army soldiers and members of the public joined in to sandbag river banks in the event of further rains and rising waters. Areas outside the city including San Kamphaeng and Mae Jo saw some flooding as water built up from the heavy rains.

The Thai Meteorological Department forecast heavy rains through the 2nd of August due to remnants of Tropical Storm Nock-ten that created serious flooding across the North and North-East. Train service out between Chiang Mai and Bangkok was suspended on July 31 as parts of the track were underwater. Rongkwang District in Phrae saw two volunteers out helping flood victims go missing when their boat capsized. Heavy rains in Nan saw the Huai Had Reservoir overflow, flooding many villages in the Phu Phiang District.

The TMD forecasts the storm to continue its path into Myanmar, with next week seeing scattered thundershowers and isolated heavy rain across the North. (Photos courtesy of Chiang Mai Municipality).

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn oversaw the installation of flood control measures in an effort to protect the city from rising Ping River water.

Residents worked feverishly filling sandbags alongside Royal Thai Army soldiers.


More Quirky Pics

A not unusual spelling error on menus, although nonetheless still a bit off-putting if not used to it!

Chiang Mai Mail readers are sending in the funny photos they see. Thailand and Chiang Mai abound with funny photos, engrish and more. The Chiang Mai Mail invites our readers to send in their favorite quirky “engrish” photos for the paper. Please send all submissions to [email protected] We welcome your submissions and hope this encourages you to start snapping, even if with just a camera phone!

Sometimes direct transliterations aren’t always the best!


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chiang Mai Mayor progress report one year on

Mae Sariang residents receive improved medical services

Chiang Mai Creative City first anniversary

Police volunteer training

Flooding in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai

Karng Suea Ten Dam cannot ease floods

Nigerian arrested for cocaine trafficking

Quirky photos from around Thailand

Mae Kuang dam is filling up

CDC results released on Chiang Mai deaths

Chiang Mai implements SRRT teams to combat health issues

PM visits Chiang Mai to follow up flood problem

A rainy Mother’s Day doesn’t dampen festivities

Dengue fever warning issued

More Quirky Pics

Happy Birthday to HM Queen Sirikit

Flash flood warnings

German tourist arrested for passing fake banknotes

Flood damage assessed

Donations for the needy

EMERGENCY

Chiang Mai applies for UNESCO Creative City designation

Chef McDang charity dinner postponed

Nock-ten brings heavy rains and flooding across the North

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