Trade war hits Asian markets, pushing dollar to 4-week high

Signs that Asia is already feeling the pinch from a trade conflict between the United States and China pushed the U.S. dollar to a four-week high on Tuesday, while higher U.S. Treasury yields helped the move. “This is the main cause behind the dollar strength. “Asian equity markets reacted positively to the news, but there should only be limited follow-through, as uncertainty remains high, and this uncertainty may potentially prompt companies to cut back on existing capex plans,” said Redeker. T


Signs that Asia is already feeling the pinch from a trade conflict between the United States and China pushed the U.S. dollar to a four-week high on Tuesday, while higher U.S. Treasury yields helped the move. “This is the main cause behind the dollar strength. “Asian equity markets reacted positively to the news, but there should only be limited follow-through, as uncertainty remains high, and this uncertainty may potentially prompt companies to cut back on existing capex plans,” said Redeker. T
Trade war hits Asian markets, pushing dollar to 4-week high Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-21
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, dollar, 4week, thailand, treasury, states, trade, uncertainty, strength, pushing, hits, high, markets, asian, weakest, united, war


Trade war hits Asian markets, pushing dollar to 4-week high

Signs that Asia is already feeling the pinch from a trade conflict between the United States and China pushed the U.S. dollar to a four-week high on Tuesday, while higher U.S. Treasury yields helped the move.

Data showed economic growth in Singapore was its lowest in nearly a decade in the first quarter, while in Thailand it was at its lowest in four years, raising worries that major Asian economies will be hurt by global trade tensions.

“Global growth prospects seem to be getting gloomier by the day,” wrote Hans Redeker, global head of foreign exchange strategy at Morgan Stanley. He also cited a decline in South Korea’s exports in the first 20 days of May, a fall in steel prices and the weakest Japanese condominium sales since 2016.

“The situation in Asia is difficult – Thailand, Singapore, export decline in Korea – which shows that the trade conflict is hurting even without a further escalation,” said Commerzbank foreign exchange strategist Esther Maria Reichelt.

“This is the main cause behind the dollar strength. If anything, I was little bit surprised we didn’t see a more pronounced risk movement,” she added.

The United States temporarily eased trade restrictions on China’s Huawei to minimize disruption for its customers, a move which boosted Asian equities and helped the offshore Chinese yuan pull back from its weakest levels since November, where it has hovered since Friday. But the relief is not expected to be lasting.

“Asian equity markets reacted positively to the news, but there should only be limited follow-through, as uncertainty remains high, and this uncertainty may potentially prompt companies to cut back on existing capex plans,” said Redeker.

The dollar index which measures the currency against a basket of six rivals, was 0.14% higher, last at 98.07.

Against the euro, the U.S. dollar was 0.2% stronger, last at $1.115. The single currency is being hurt by dollar strength and also by upcoming European parliamentary elections in which euroskeptic parties may fare well.

The greenback may have also been lifted by a fall in Treasury bond prices, which saw the 10-year yield rise to a one-week high of 2.435% on the back of some positive comments on the U.S. economy from policymakers.

Elsewhere, Australia’s top policymaker Philip Lowe said on Tuesday the Reserve Bank of Australia would consider the case for lower interest rates at its June policy meeting, pushing the Aussie dollar 0.54% lower to $0.687.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-21
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, dollar, 4week, thailand, treasury, states, trade, uncertainty, strength, pushing, hits, high, markets, asian, weakest, united, war


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Thailand tows bitcoin trader’s floating home; owners may face death sentence

The Royal Thai Navy has towed a floating home owned by an American bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend, who currently face possible death sentences or life imprisonment for “deteriorating Thailand’s independence,” according to multiple reports. Chad Elwartowski and his partner Supranee Thepdet lived in the cabin roughly 15 miles from the Thai coast to avoid jurisdiction from the Thai government, according to British news outlet Sky News. Thai authorities have revoked Elwartowski’s visa and ch


The Royal Thai Navy has towed a floating home owned by an American bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend, who currently face possible death sentences or life imprisonment for “deteriorating Thailand’s independence,” according to multiple reports. Chad Elwartowski and his partner Supranee Thepdet lived in the cabin roughly 15 miles from the Thai coast to avoid jurisdiction from the Thai government, according to British news outlet Sky News. Thai authorities have revoked Elwartowski’s visa and ch
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-24  Authors: shirley tay
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, according, thai, independence, owners, thailand, bitcoin, jurisdiction, deteriorating, face, sentence, traders, life, death, imprisonment, floating, sky, thailands, tows


Thailand tows bitcoin trader's floating home; owners may face death sentence

The Royal Thai Navy has towed a floating home owned by an American bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend, who currently face possible death sentences or life imprisonment for “deteriorating Thailand’s independence,” according to multiple reports.

Chad Elwartowski and his partner Supranee Thepdet lived in the cabin roughly 15 miles from the Thai coast to avoid jurisdiction from the Thai government, according to British news outlet Sky News.

Thai authorities have revoked Elwartowski’s visa and charged the couple for violating Thai sovereignty — an offense punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment, according to Reuters.

“The couple announced on social media declaring their autonomy beyond the jurisdiction of any courts or law of any countries, including Thailand,” Sky News reported Thai Rear Admiral Vithanarat Kochaseni as saying. “We see such action as deteriorating Thailand’s independence.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-24  Authors: shirley tay
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Thailand held an election more than a week ago — voters still don’t know who won

Thailand held a long-awaited general election on March 24 after five years of military rule. But the country’s new government will not be formed until May, which is when the final election outcome is expected to be released. No single party has so far emerged as a clear winner in the lower chamber vote, setting the stage for further uncertainty and political wrangling that could stretch on for months. On Thursday, the Election Commission of Thailand posted preliminary results on its website — wh


Thailand held a long-awaited general election on March 24 after five years of military rule. But the country’s new government will not be formed until May, which is when the final election outcome is expected to be released. No single party has so far emerged as a clear winner in the lower chamber vote, setting the stage for further uncertainty and political wrangling that could stretch on for months. On Thursday, the Election Commission of Thailand posted preliminary results on its website — wh
Thailand held an election more than a week ago — voters still don’t know who won Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-01  Authors: yen nee lee, ye aung thu, afp, getty images, -surakiart sathirathai, former thai cabinet member
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, know, winner, ago, won, lower, election, went, week, party, chamber, dont, wrangling, held, website, political, voters, thailand


Thailand held an election more than a week ago — voters still don't know who won

Thailand held a long-awaited general election on March 24 after five years of military rule.

But the country’s new government will not be formed until May, which is when the final election outcome is expected to be released.

No single party has so far emerged as a clear winner in the lower chamber vote, setting the stage for further uncertainty and political wrangling that could stretch on for months.

On Thursday, the Election Commission of Thailand posted preliminary results on its website — which came after reporters and the public spotted discrepancies in earlier tallies.

Despite the lack of clarity on which way the votes went, two opposing political camps have claimed the right to form the new government.

Pheu Thai, an anti-military party linked to ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, banded with six other parties. The alliance projected that it has at least 255 out of 500 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Thailand’s legislative branch.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-01  Authors: yen nee lee, ye aung thu, afp, getty images, -surakiart sathirathai, former thai cabinet member
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, know, winner, ago, won, lower, election, went, week, party, chamber, dont, wrangling, held, website, political, voters, thailand


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Surprise and suspicion in Thailand as pro-military party leads election race

A party linked to Thailand’s military led the popular vote after most ballots had been counted from Sunday’s general election, the country’s first since a 2014 coup, giving it a surprise advantage over anti-junta parties hoping to make a comeback. Pheu Thai, a party linked to the self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra whose loyalists have won every election since 2001, fell short of expectations that it would outdistance the military’s proxy party. However, it still looked likely to have


A party linked to Thailand’s military led the popular vote after most ballots had been counted from Sunday’s general election, the country’s first since a 2014 coup, giving it a surprise advantage over anti-junta parties hoping to make a comeback. Pheu Thai, a party linked to the self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra whose loyalists have won every election since 2001, fell short of expectations that it would outdistance the military’s proxy party. However, it still looked likely to have
Surprise and suspicion in Thailand as pro-military party leads election race Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-25  Authors: lauren decicca, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, turnout, military, leads, party, lower, surprise, ballots, thailand, results, numbers, suspicion, election, promilitary, linked, parliament, race


Surprise and suspicion in Thailand as pro-military party leads election race

A party linked to Thailand’s military led the popular vote after most ballots had been counted from Sunday’s general election, the country’s first since a 2014 coup, giving it a surprise advantage over anti-junta parties hoping to make a comeback.

Unofficial results will be announced on Monday afternoon, so it is still not certain that the Palang Pracharat party backing junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha will have enough lower house of parliament seats for him to stay on as prime minister.

Pheu Thai, a party linked to the self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra whose loyalists have won every election since 2001, fell short of expectations that it would outdistance the military’s proxy party. However, it still looked likely to have the largest share of parliament seats.

The strong showing by the pro-junta party dismayed voters who had hoped the poll would loosen the grip that traditional elites and the military have long held on power in a country that has one of the highest measures of inequality in the world.

Many took to social media to voice their suspicions about the results of an election which critics had said was skewed in favor of the military from the outset.

Thai-language hashtags that translated as “Election Commission screw-up” and “cheating the election” were trending at numbers one and three on Twitter in Thailand.

Many tweets referred to inconsistencies between the numbers for voter turnout and ballots cast in some parliamentary constituencies, and some questioned the overall turnout of less than 70 percent, which was much lower than expected.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-25  Authors: lauren decicca, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, turnout, military, leads, party, lower, surprise, ballots, thailand, results, numbers, suspicion, election, promilitary, linked, parliament, race


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Thailand election: Economic growth, income inequality are key issues

Investors are hoping for greater political and economic stability in Thailand after the country’s upcoming general election — but some analysts aren’t so sure that will come to pass. This year, foreign buying of Thai equities has not return in a significant way, with many investors opting to wait for clarity on the political front. The election on March 24 will be Thailand’s first since a military coup overthrew the elected government in 2014. An anti-military camp that consist of the Pheu Thai


Investors are hoping for greater political and economic stability in Thailand after the country’s upcoming general election — but some analysts aren’t so sure that will come to pass. This year, foreign buying of Thai equities has not return in a significant way, with many investors opting to wait for clarity on the political front. The election on March 24 will be Thailand’s first since a military coup overthrew the elected government in 2014. An anti-military camp that consist of the Pheu Thai
Thailand election: Economic growth, income inequality are key issues Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-14  Authors: yen nee lee, gonzalo azumendi, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, thailand, economic, party, minister, foreign, election, thai, growth, political, issues, parties, income, prime, inequality, key, investors


Thailand election: Economic growth, income inequality are key issues

Investors are hoping for greater political and economic stability in Thailand after the country’s upcoming general election — but some analysts aren’t so sure that will come to pass.

Last year, the Thai stock market suffered a record $9 billion in foreign investment outflows as investors withdrew from emerging markets amid rising interest rates in the U.S. and global economic concerns. This year, foreign buying of Thai equities has not return in a significant way, with many investors opting to wait for clarity on the political front.

The election on March 24 will be Thailand’s first since a military coup overthrew the elected government in 2014. The vote is set to be a contest between three political fractions:

A pro-military camp that include the Palang Pracharat Party, which named current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha as its candidate to lead the country.

An anti-military camp that consist of the Pheu Thai Party — which is linked to exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra — and the newly founded Future Forward Party.

A group of parties that are neutral or undecided on which side they would align, including the Democrat Party led by another former prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and Bhumjaithai Party, which recently made headlines for its promotion of marijuana as a new cash crop in Thailand.

None of the parties are expected to single-handedly win enough seats to form the next government, which means the most likely scenario is a coalition administration. That may be challenging, however, in a polarized political environment like Thailand, analysts said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-14  Authors: yen nee lee, gonzalo azumendi, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, thailand, economic, party, minister, foreign, election, thai, growth, political, issues, parties, income, prime, inequality, key, investors


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Thailand property: Chinese buying interest has surged in recent years

Chinese investors have continued pouring their money into Thailand’s property sector even as the kingdom barrels toward an uncertain national election. Thailand will hold general elections on March 24, but Juwai CEO Carrie Law said the company hasn’t seen “a link between the Thai election and Chinese property buying.” Even though that recent coup was the second in less than a decade, the political upheaval did little to cool Thailand’s huge property increases. Chinese buyers make up 70 percent o


Chinese investors have continued pouring their money into Thailand’s property sector even as the kingdom barrels toward an uncertain national election. Thailand will hold general elections on March 24, but Juwai CEO Carrie Law said the company hasn’t seen “a link between the Thai election and Chinese property buying.” Even though that recent coup was the second in less than a decade, the political upheaval did little to cool Thailand’s huge property increases. Chinese buyers make up 70 percent o
Thailand property: Chinese buying interest has surged in recent years Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-11  Authors: huileng tan, prachanart viriyaraks, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, property, interest, surged, buyers, international, thailands, thailand, buying, spot, chinese, told, started, growth, recent


Thailand property: Chinese buying interest has surged in recent years

Chinese investors have continued pouring their money into Thailand’s property sector even as the kingdom barrels toward an uncertain national election.

That underscores the Southeast Asian nation’s enduring popularity with the Chinese — tourists from Asia’s top economy have for years seen Thailand as a top spot for holidays. According to recent data from online Chinese real estate portal Juwai.com, Thailand was its most popular country when it comes to inquiries from potential real estate buyers in 2018 — climbing up from the sixth spot in 2016.

Thailand will hold general elections on March 24, but Juwai CEO Carrie Law said the company hasn’t seen “a link between the Thai election and Chinese property buying.”

“While the election is momentous for Thailand, most of the buyers we work with are unconcerned about the outcome,” she told CNBC.

Thailand’s economy has been powering ahead since its 2014 coup, reaching 3.9 percent GDP growth in 2017. That was its best in five years, but that growth is expected to slow a bit this year due to weaker global growth, the World Bank projected.

Even though that recent coup was the second in less than a decade, the political upheaval did little to cool Thailand’s huge property increases.

In fact, Sansiri — one of Thailand’s biggest developers — set up its international business unit in 2014 after seeing growing interest from foreign buyers, said Nanmanas Jiwattanakul, the company’s assistant executive vice president of international business development.

Chinese buyers make up 70 percent of Sansiri’s international sales, she said.

The development — not spurred by any marketing efforts — prompted the developer to set up showrooms in Thailand and overseas catering to such investors, she told CNBC.

“We started to drive (international sales) and also because we started seeing a number of foreign buyers in Thailand,” said Nanmanas.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-11  Authors: huileng tan, prachanart viriyaraks, getty images
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A coup in Thailand is likely to happen: Expert

A coup in Thailand is likely to happen: Expert9 Hours AgoPaul Chambers of the Center of ASEAN Community Studies says it’s possible there could be a coup in Thailand, given that trouble is brewing in the military.


A coup in Thailand is likely to happen: Expert9 Hours AgoPaul Chambers of the Center of ASEAN Community Studies says it’s possible there could be a coup in Thailand, given that trouble is brewing in the military.
A coup in Thailand is likely to happen: Expert Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-10
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trouble, thailand, happen, expert, possible, likely, studies, hours, military, given, coup


A coup in Thailand is likely to happen: Expert

A coup in Thailand is likely to happen: Expert

9 Hours Ago

Paul Chambers of the Center of ASEAN Community Studies says it’s possible there could be a coup in Thailand, given that trouble is brewing in the military.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-10
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Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as US urges allies to bar Chinese gear

Thailand on Friday launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks. The 5G test bed in Thailand, the United States’ oldest ally in Asia, will be Huawei’s first in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s cooperation with Huawei on the test bed does not mean it is not concerned about security issues, Minister of Digital Economy Pichet Durongkaveroj told Reuters at the launch. However, this 5G


Thailand on Friday launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks. The 5G test bed in Thailand, the United States’ oldest ally in Asia, will be Huawei’s first in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s cooperation with Huawei on the test bed does not mean it is not concerned about security issues, Minister of Digital Economy Pichet Durongkaveroj told Reuters at the launch. However, this 5G
Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as US urges allies to bar Chinese gear Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-08  Authors: artur widak, nurphoto, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, huawei, bed, 5g, telecoms, bar, thai, thailand, site, chinese, launches, allies, southeast, states, united, urges, gear, test


Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as US urges allies to bar Chinese gear

Thailand on Friday launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks.

Huawei, the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its equipment for espionage, a concern the company says is unfounded.

The 5G test bed in Thailand, the United States’ oldest ally in Asia, will be Huawei’s first in Southeast Asia.

Thailand’s cooperation with Huawei on the test bed does not mean it is not concerned about security issues, Minister of Digital Economy Pichet Durongkaveroj told Reuters at the launch.

“We keep a close watch on the allegations worldwide. However, this 5G test bed project is a testing period for the country,” Pichet added. “We can make observations which will be useful to either confirm or disconfirm the allegations.”

Pichet was speaking at the test site in Chonburi, the heart of the Thai military government’s $45 billion economic project — the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) — about 90 km southeast of Bangkok. Vendors like Nokia, Ericsson and Thai telecoms operators have also set up 5G labs at the site.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-08  Authors: artur widak, nurphoto, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, huawei, bed, 5g, telecoms, bar, thai, thailand, site, chinese, launches, allies, southeast, states, united, urges, gear, test


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UN interviews Saudi teen seeking asylum in Thailand

“It could take several days to process the case and determine next steps,” UNHCR’s Thailand representative Giuseppe de Vincentiis said in a statement. Qunun’s plight unfolded on social media, drawing support from around the world, which convinced Thai authorities to back down from sending her back to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Thailand denied reports that Riyadh had requested her extradition. In Australia, a senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, called on her government, through social media


“It could take several days to process the case and determine next steps,” UNHCR’s Thailand representative Giuseppe de Vincentiis said in a statement. Qunun’s plight unfolded on social media, drawing support from around the world, which convinced Thai authorities to back down from sending her back to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Thailand denied reports that Riyadh had requested her extradition. In Australia, a senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, called on her government, through social media
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-08
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bangkok, teen, interviews, saudi, travel, thailand, refugee, social, seeking, women, asylum, australia, case


UN interviews Saudi teen seeking asylum in Thailand

The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday said it was investigating the case of an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her and barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to avoid being sent back.

Lawmakers and activists in Australia and Britain urged their governments to grant asylum to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who was finally allowed by Thailand to enter the country late on Monday, after nearly 48 hours stranded at Bangkok airport under threat of being expelled.

She is staying in a Bangkok hotel with her application for refugee status being processed by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) before she can seek asylum in a third country.

UNHCR staff were interviewing her on Tuesday after meeting her the day before.

“It could take several days to process the case and determine next steps,” UNHCR’s Thailand representative Giuseppe de Vincentiis said in a statement.

“We are very grateful that the Thai authorities did not send back (Qunun) against her will and are extending protection to her,” he said.

The case has drawn new global attention to Saudi Arabia’s strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male “guardian” to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families.

It comes at a time when Riyadh is facing unusually intense scrutiny from its Western allies over the killing of a journalist at its consulate in Istanbul in October and over the humanitarian consequences of its war in Yemen.

Qunun’s plight unfolded on social media, drawing support from around the world, which convinced Thai authorities to back down from sending her back to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Thailand denied reports that Riyadh had requested her extradition.

In Australia, a senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, called on her government, through social media, to issue Qunun an emergency travel document so she could fly to Australia to seek asylum.

The Australian government said it was monitoring the case closely highlighting that “the claims made by Ms Al-Qunun that she may be harmed if returned to Saudi Arabia are deeply concerning”, said a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

A woman in Britain had launched an online petition calling on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to grant Qunan asylum and issue her an emergency travel document.

Within hours of launching the petition it had secured thousands of signatures.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-08
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bangkok, teen, interviews, saudi, travel, thailand, refugee, social, seeking, women, asylum, australia, case


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Tropical storm’s rain, surging seas strike Thai beaches

Rain, winds and surging seawater buffeted coastal villages and world-famous tourist resorts Friday, as Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall on southern Thailand’s east coast. Earlier Friday, authorities in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, about 800 kilometers (480 miles) south of Bangkok, drove trucks through flooded streets with downed power lines, urging people to leave. But this time, we got a tropical storm coming. Thai authorities suspended ferry services in the Gulf of Thailand and flights to N


Rain, winds and surging seawater buffeted coastal villages and world-famous tourist resorts Friday, as Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall on southern Thailand’s east coast. Earlier Friday, authorities in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, about 800 kilometers (480 miles) south of Bangkok, drove trucks through flooded streets with downed power lines, urging people to leave. But this time, we got a tropical storm coming. Thai authorities suspended ferry services in the Gulf of Thailand and flights to N
Tropical storm’s rain, surging seas strike Thai beaches Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-04  Authors: lillian suwanrumpha, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, si, strike, rain, thai, surging, gulf, tropical, winds, storm, nakhon, storms, thammarat, koh, thailand, beaches, stay, seas


Tropical storm's rain, surging seas strike Thai beaches

Rain, winds and surging seawater buffeted coastal villages and world-famous tourist resorts Friday, as Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall on southern Thailand’s east coast.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 70 kph (42 mph), hit the shore of Nakhon Si Thammarat province Friday afternoon and was roaring westward at 20 kph (12 mph), said Phuwieng Prakhammintara, director-general of the Thai Meteorological Department.

“We can expect heavy rain and downpours, flooding and flash floods in the area throughout the night,” he warned at a news conference.

Earlier Friday, authorities in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, about 800 kilometers (480 miles) south of Bangkok, drove trucks through flooded streets with downed power lines, urging people to leave.

“Anyone still inside. Please make noise and officials will help you out. You cannot stay here. You cannot stay here. It’s too dangerous,” they said from truck-mounted loudspeakers.

While torrential rain and strong winds are expected to affect more than a dozen other provinces, Nakon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani, home to the tourist islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, are expected to be the hardest hit.

The Meteorological Department said Friday morning that waves 3 to 5 meters (10 to 16 feet) high were possible in the Gulf of Thailand on the east coast, and 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 feet) high in the Andaman Sea on the west coast. It warned of strong winds and storm surges on the gulf side and said all ships should stay berthed on land through Saturday.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Pak Phanang district, where the storm later made landfall, a father and a son rushed off with their belongings on their pickup truck, quickly telling reporters the roof of their house was already damaged.

Officials used trucks to help fishermen move boats off the beach, which was being beaten up by strong waves.

“You can’t stay around here,” local official Dahloh Bin Samah said in a beachfront interview aired on local TV. “These will be all razed down. Every monsoon, beachfront restaurants around here are damaged every year. But this time, we got a tropical storm coming. There won’t be anything left. Nothing.”

Thai authorities suspended ferry services in the Gulf of Thailand and flights to Nakhon Si Thammarat and Koh Samui were canceled.

On Koh Samui, beach guards hoisted red flags to warn people to stay out of the sea. Police patrolled beaches, although many were almost deserted.

There are fears that the storm will be the worst to hit Thailand since 1989, when Typhoon Gay left more than 400 people dead. A tropical storm in 1962 killed more than 900 people in the south.

Two natural gas production platforms in the Gulf of Thailand directly in the path of the storm suspended operations and had their personnel evacuated to shore, said the exploration and production arm of the Thai state oil company PTT. It said drilling rigs and vessels had been moved to unaffected areas, and gas production at a third platform remained operating to help meet energy needs.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-04  Authors: lillian suwanrumpha, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, si, strike, rain, thai, surging, gulf, tropical, winds, storm, nakhon, storms, thammarat, koh, thailand, beaches, stay, seas


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