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whole thing was started by one of the mobile phone service providers just to make some extra money?

UZMA ZAHEER, Karachi

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C05%5C04%5Cstory_4-5-2007_pg3_7

General Environment News

Bangkok Post : Rain to bring flash floods, mudslides - About 2,400 villages in 51 provinces at risk

About 2,400 villages in 51 provinces are at risk of mudslides and flash floods from torrential rains expected over the next few days, Mineral Resources Department chief Apichai Chvajarernpun warned yesterday. A disaster warning system, with the participation of local people and administrative bodies, should be put in place to prevent losses caused by natural disasters, he said while attending a mudslide seminar in Tak.

A total of 83 people were confirmed killed when mudslides and flash floods hit the northern provinces of Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phrae, Lampang and Nan on May 22 last year.

Another 33 are still missing and the lives of about 170,000 people were badly affected.

Meteorologists forecast that torrential rains in Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Tak will continue until tomorrow.

Mr Apichai said that in Tak, 380 villages are at risk from mudslides, 210 others are at risk from mountain runoff and another 92 face the threat of flash flooding.

In Chiang Mai, disaster prevention and mitigation officials have instructed 113 communities in 19 districts to be alert for flash floods, mountain runoff and mudslides. The greatest danger is to Fang, Chiang Dao, Mae Ai, Chai Prakan, Samoeng, Omkoi and Mae Chaem districts, given their mountainous topography.

Chalermsak Vanichsombat, head of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said staff kept abreast of weather changes and had prepared equipment for rescue operations.

The department will temporarily close national parks where the rainfall tops 100mm in 24 hours, to prevent unwary people getting caught by floods or landslides, he said.

In Rayong, the chief of the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, Pitchurai Panthip, said people living near mountains should closely observe changing natural conditions.

A change in the colour of water in streams or in the sound of water coming down from the mountains were signs of mountain runoff and potential danger, she said.

If the signs became clear, they should evacuate to safe areas and alert the authorities, she said.

In Prachuap Khiri Khan, the resort town of Hua Hin remained flooded for the fourth day yesterday.

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