BANGKOK: Thai authorities said yesterday they had recovered the bodies of 10 migrant workers from Myanmar whose boat is believed to have sunk in a recent storm. Myanmar officials confirmed that the nine men and one woman were citizens of their country, according to the governor of the southern Thai province of Ranong, Cherdsak Jampathes. “It is likely they were illegal immigrants who came for work. They normally travel in groups of 20-30 in small boats. There was a storm and rain early this week.” Thousands of migrants from Myanmar work in the Thai fishing and other industries. Last month International Labour Organisation warned of “serious abuses” in the kingdom’s vast fishing industry such as forced labour and violence. Former military-ruled Myanmar has also seen an exodus of asylum-seekers in rickety boats following a wave of violence since last year, mostly targeting minority Muslims.
Vietnam begins evacuation
HANOI: Vietnam is evacuating tens of thousands of people in the path of Typhoon Nari, state media said yesterday, after the powerful storm left 13 dead in the Philippines. Nari is expected to slam into central Vietnam today morning, after ripping off rooftops, toppling trees and triggering flash floods in the northern Philippines over the weekend. “Very strong winds are expected later yesterday. There might be heavy rains of up to 500mm over the next few days,” said Bui Minh Tang, head of Vietnam’s national weather forecast centre. Authorities in the central provinces of Thua Thien Hue and Da Nang were moving roughly 66,000 people in vulnerable coastal area to safety, according to the state-controlled Tuoi Tre newspaper. Boats have been urged to seek shelter and food has been prepared for residents in case of prolonged flooding, reports said. Vietnam is hit by around eight to 10 storms every year, often resulting in loss of life and heavy material damage. Last month Typhoon Wutip left a trail of destruction in the communist state, ripping the roofs off nearly 200,000 houses and leaving several people dead. Forty people have been killed in flooding in Vietnam since early September.