Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Drought and fires at Chiang Mai, Thailand

Focus on Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand

It always means so much more if you know a place reasonably well. I was last in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 1987 and 1990 respectively, but it was a place I have spent some time and came to love.

This is how I remember it

And the entrance to the temple

In recent days there has been a fire at Doi Suthep National Park which also is home to the Temple (Wat Phra That Doi Suthep)

The fire itself was put out reasonably quickly and the temple spared.

ChiangMai, it seems from the reports below has been experiencing a devastating drought.

Nothing to do with that - apparently it was the local villagers who were responsible

Nowhere is any link made to climate change. It’s all the el-Nino.

So they will be putting all their hope on an la-Nina pattern as in this article (relating to India)

  • SBI sees `double delight' from monsoon on growth, inflation
  • Government forecasts best seasonal rainfall since 1994

I don't see any good news on the horizon but we’ll see.

Wildfire at Doi Suthep national park in Chiang Mai

9 May, 2016
A huge wildfire broke out late yesterday evening at Khuncharngkien in the Doi Suthep-Pui national park in Chiang Mai, forcing several hundreds of park, forestry officials and volunteers to immediately create buffer areas to prevent the fire from spreading into the famous Doi Suthep temple ground and the  Phuphing royal winter palace.
It was not immediately known how the fire started but the deputy  governor of Chiang Mai Mr Mongkol Suksai said last night that fire fighters could hardly get into the fire scene because of the high terrain of the area.

The fire which started at 3.30 pm yesterday has destroyed over 70 rai of forest area and was threatening the Doi Suthep temple and the royal palace.

They have created buffer areas to prevent the wildfire from spreading into other significant places at the national park, and  the Northern  Royal Rain-Making Centre was sought to help in fighting the fire.

By midnight last night, Chiang Mai governor Mr Pawin Chamniprasart said the wildfire could be temporarily controlled in limited areas after fire fighters could create buffer lines to prevent it from spreading downhill.

The situation has eased and kept under control, he said.

Fire blackens 290 rai of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

9 May, 2016

CHIANG MAI -- Fire fighters were maintaining a close watch over the remains of a large forest fire that caused severe damage to more than 290 rai of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park overnight before being brought under control, provincial forest fire operations centre chief Pongpawat Yaiwongkorn said on Monday.

Some earlier media reports had suggested the burned over area was far larger. 

Read the article HERE

April 5th, 2016

Chiang Mai is still suffering from severe drought.

On the April 4th, Jansark Limpiti, director of Chiang Mai Irrigation Office, said that water levels are now dangerously low with Mae Ngad Dam down to 14.37% of capacity and Mae Guang Dam at 18.36% capacity. Water is being rationed but with no signs of rain, he asks all citizens to be mindful of water usage.

Tiwa Radeerom, Administrator of Mae Rim Waterworks Department, said that the Mae Rim farmers were initially promised 13,920 cubic metres of water per day, but due to shortage they are only receiving 7,400 cbm per day. Water is now being released in different areas on alternate days.

Chiang Mai is now working with the Ministry of Commerce to offer low priced produce to those in need, slashing prices for necessities in life such as eggs, rice, oil and sugar by 20-40%.

Neunghatai Tantiplubthong, Director of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation department, said that due to limited humidity in the air and severe heat, it is unable to generate rain from cloud seeding.

8 July 2015

Chiang Mai is experiencing the worst drought crisis in two decades, with dams expected to last until August.

Parched: Chiang Mai's Huay Kaew waterfall dries up in severe drought

Huay Kaew waterfall is a popular attraction in Chiang Mai province. Photo: Biogang/ @Peaxto
The severe drought has left a Huay Kaew waterfall, a popular attraction in Chiang Mai, as dry as a desert, according to visitors who flew up north during the long weekend.

How did we get to the point where a waterfall has no water?” wrote Twitter user @Peaxto, who shared photos of the parched waterfall yesterday.

The Huay Kaew waterfall is approximately 10-meters high and its stream comes from a river in Doi Suthep National Park.

Near the waterfall is a 6-kilometer trekking route.

28 March 2016

Four waterfalls in the northern province of Chiang Mai has become parched amidst the prolonged drought crisis.

This year’s drought crisis is said to be the worst in a decade. Water in Huay Kaew, Sai Yoi, Wang Bua Ban, and Mon Tha Than waterfalls has completely dried up. The four waterfalls are situated in Doi Suthep Pui National Park.

Local authorities are now drawing up plans to increase humidity in the park and looking into the possibility of building weirs in different locations.

Meanwhile in Si Sa Ket Province, provincial authorities are travelling to different places afflicted by the ongoing dry season and giving out drinking water to the residents. The locals have also been told to brace for possible summer storms.

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