A year after Ketsana, Chonburi mussel farmers get relief

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More than a year after Typhoon Ketsana destroyed large tracts of Chonburi mussel farms, the government began paying out 50 million baht in compensation to affected farmers.

Chonburi Gov. Wichit Chatpaisit presented vouchers to farmers at Chalerm Phrakiart Hall in Bangsai Nov. 16.

Chonburi Gov. Wichit Chatpaisit (2nd left) and Chonburi officials begin distributing relief to mussel farmers affected by the October 2009 typhoon, Ketsana.Chonburi Gov. Wichit Chatpaisit (2nd left) and Chonburi officials begin distributing relief to mussel farmers affected by the October 2009 typhoon, Ketsana.

The October 2009 storm, Asia’s largest since 1970, killed 767 people across the region and, while weakened, still wreaked havoc on the Eastern Seaboard. Mussel farms were particularly affected, with huge waves washing away farms.

However, many mussel farmers who petitioned the government for relief were deemed ineligible for compensation. Only after the Chonburi government and community leaders petitioned Bangkok to relax its rules that exceptions were made.

The Comptroller General approved an initial outlay of 50 million baht but said additional funds requested would not be released until the mussel farming community developed preventative measures to protect their enterprises during the annual storm season.