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Floodwater on the Phetkasem highway was 30-70cm deep, while in some villages it was at waist level.

The Meteorological Department said a depression in the Gulf of Thailand had moved into the Andaman Sea and would soon move into Burma.

It was expected to bring heavy rain to northern and western provinces _ particularly Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Phetchaburi _ from last night onwards.

The department also warned boats and swimmers that the Andaman Sea would be rough with strong winds during the next few days.



Stuff.co.nz : Indonesia deforestation fastest in world - Greenpeace

Reuters | Friday, 4 May 2007

JAKARTA: Indonesia had the fastest pace of deforestation in the world between 2000-2005, with an area of forest equivalent to 300 soccer pitches destroyed every hour, Greenpeace said on Thursday.

"The next generation of Indonesians will not see any forest if no action is taken by the government to deal with the problem," Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Bustar Maitar told a news conference.

The Guinness World Records had approved a proposal by Greenpeace that Indonesia's forest destruction be included in its 2008 record book to be published in September this year, said Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Hapsoro.

Displaying a replica of the certificate from the global authority of records, he said the citation from the publication would read: "Of the 44 countries which collectively account for 90 per cent of the world's forests, the country which pursues the highest annual rate of deforestation is Indonesia with 1.8 million hectares of forest destroyed each year between 2000-2005."

Indonesia has lost 72 per cent of its intact ancient forests and half of what remains is threatened by commercial logging, forest fires and clearances for palm oil plantations, Greenpeace said.

The group urged the Indonesian government to impose a temporary ban on commercial logging in natural forests nationwide, accusing authorities of failing to control lawlessness and corruption in the forestry sector.

International demand for timber and paper as well as commodities such as palm oil was driving the destruction of the country's forest, currently covering 120.3 million hectares, it said.

Indonesia is the second-largest palm oil producer after Malaysia and is poised to be the world's biggest producer of the commodity with more than 16 million tonnes this year.

Greenpeace said while Indonesia was destroying its forests at a faster pace than any other country, Brazil destroyed a larger area of forest every year.

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