Asia briefs

Hainan prepares for typhoon

BEIJING - More than 40,000 people have been evacuated from China's southern island of Hainan ahead of the expected landfall of the year's first typhoon late yesterday, although it should help ease a severe drought, state media said.

Typhoon Kujira will sweep over the Paracel islands in the South China Sea before hitting land somewhere between Wanning on Hainan and Zhanjiang in neighbouring Guangdong province, bringing strong wind and heavy rain, Xinhua news agency said.

Besides the evacuations, about 20,000 fishing boats have been called back to harbour and school sessions today have been suspended in the provincial capital, Haikou, Xinhua added.


Two killed in Myanmar project

YANGON - Two construction workers were killed and dozens injured when part of a luxury hotel being built in Myanmar's second-largest city of Mandalay collapsed, sparking a desperate 30-hour bid to free a man trapped in the rubble, police said yesterday.

Rescue teams worked round-the-clock to free the trapped 18-year-old worker after the incident last Saturday afternoon at the construction site, according to local police, finally pulling him from the rubble late on Sunday.

The building is set to become a luxury Pullman hotel, according to a spokesman for the Accor Hotels group, who said the company was seeking further information on the incident.


More tourists visiting Thailand

BANGKOK - The number of tourists arriving in Thailand in May rose for the eighth straight month, an increase of 38.2 per cent, with more tourists this month, despite the country's first case of Mers last week.

Tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the Thai economy, which is struggling to regain traction one year after the army seized power to end months of political unrest. Weak exports and poor domestic demand are a drag on the economy.

There were 2.3 million tourists in Thailand in May. For the period June 1 to 20, tourist arrivals jumped 54 per cent to 1.49 million, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul told reporters yesterday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2015, with the headline 'ASIA BRIEFS'. Subscribe