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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thailand Flooding Part 2

The flooding in the central and northern parts of Thailand continue. Water levels are peaking as they approach Bangkok. While there has been some reference on the international news scene, the coverage here is more extensive obviously. A satellite image in the Nation newspaper today shows a very wide swath of blue that covers most of the central part of Thailand. Over 1/3 of the country is under water.
The Don Muang airport in Bangkok is the disaster coordination centre, a refugee shelter and the domestic air terminal for three airlines. Today all flights have been cancelled form there as water has begun to cover the runways and there are some reports of affecting buildings on the property.

My heart goes out to those affects and having lost everything, with no relief in sight, and to those 10 million residents of Bangkok, now beginning to feel the effects literally in their own homes. I cannot help but also feel sorry for the Prime Minister who in less than 2 months in office, is having to deal with this huge natural disaster.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thailand Flooding

Back Yard 5 minutes after the rain started

I have been fortunate that so far in Phuket we have not been hit with the devastation they have seen in the north and central regions. I am watching as the flood concerns are approaching Bangkok, with industrial estates flooding. A few hundred dead, devastation to the rice crops and homelessness in the millions. They seriously need help and many international organizations are trying to assist. If you can help from your end, every donation counts. While I have had to deal with sudden deluges (as in the picture) it has receded quickly. Some parts of Thailand are still under a meter or more of water.

The tourism industry is being hit hard, with many countries issuing travel advisories to not come to Thailand because of the flooding. Meanwhile the Tourism Authority here seems to be gearing up for an increase and touting numbers, that my friends in the hotel business seem to not be realizing in reality. Somehow there seems to be a disconnect.

We have had very heavy rainfall, and high winds, and there have been landslides blocking major roadways. All of the media coverage has been of the bypass road and the main east-west connection to Patong. We were out for a drive to the area going to Cape Panwa and were not quite prepared for the number of slides impeding the roadways there, complete with electrical poles and lines crashed and debris covering in some places 2/3 of the roads and no signs of clean-up. A bit nerve racking when you have to navigate a blind corner, with 1/3 of a roadway and no signs or people to direct you. You simply make the drive in blind faith that there is no-one oncoming.

Our household water is a dark shade of beige. It seems cleaner to bathe in the swimming pool, but that is to be expected I am sure with the sediment caused by the run-off's.

Canada, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Manila

I have been very busy with travel since August. First to Canada for 3 weeks, then to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur and now this week to the Philippines. I am hoping it is the end of travel for a while, although I know I have yet one more trip, this time to melbourne before the end of the year. But thankfully that will not involve much adjustment and no more hotel rooms!!

Still Fighting with Google

Sorry for no posts. Again I have spent weeks trying to do password recovery and get back into my blog. The problem continues to be Google defaulting to Thai when I am set for English, and then it locked my account. Thi sproblem is apparently well known to Google, but they are unable to do anything about it. I believe I have not gotten back to my blog account. They also changed the interface and I have difficulty trying to use it. The Flickr link is also not working again. I may drop this blog site and switch to something more user friendly, but will attempt to log back in here and let you know. For my followers I apologize and I have a mountain of material to get posted!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Translation and Google

I have been trying for about three weeks to get into my Blog site. This has been somewhat complicated because even if I set my base language to English, when I try to recover my account, Google insists on sending me everything in Thai. It is a problem commented on a lot, but has not managed to tweak the people at Google.
I will busy myself with getting posts up to date, because much has been happening!