A tsunami near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific ocean destroyed villages and left at least five people dead, according to government and hospital officials.
A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake has struck off the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean, generating a ''potentially destructive'' tsunami. The quake struck at a depth of 5.8km (3.6 miles) near the Santa Cruz islands, the US Geological Survey said.
A tsunami measuring 91 centimetres in height was recorded at Lata Wharf in Santa Cruz Islands, near the epicenter, and an 11-centimetre wave was recorded in Luganville, Vanuatu.
A lesser alert, a tsunami watch, was declared for American Samoa, Australia, Guam, the Northern Marianas, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.
PHUKET: A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media.
The Marine and Coastal Resources Department is formulating plans to tackle coastal erosion in six Andaman Sea provinces with the most severe erosion on Krabi's Koh Lanta, where five metres of coastline a year is disappearing. Specialist Vudhichai Janekarn named 45 locations on the mainland and 12 on islands in Krabi, Trang, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong and Satun.
Consumer spending for the Chinese New Year holiday is expected to reach its highest level since 2006, driven by higher wages, recovering tourism and a better overall economy.
A minimum of 30 billion baht has been earmarked for expansion by the Central Group during each of these next three years, the group announced at a briefing.
Qin Yusen, the Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese embassy in Bangkok, cited the convenience of travelling here as well as the well-known beauty of the country among the reasons why Chinese people love to visit Thailand. There are many direct flights from China's major cities to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, while travelling around is also easy.
Chinese warships have pointed missile radars at Japanese military targets and taken the two regional powers to the brink of ''a dangerous situation,'' say Japanese officials. The news marks a dangerous escalation of a four-month diplomatic and military stand-off involving disputed islets in the East China Sea.
A German university has voted to strip Education Minister Annette Schavan of her doctorate after an investigation into plagiarism allegations. The University of Duesseldorf's philosophy faculty decided that she had carried out ''a deliberate deception through plagiarism''.
Getting into the fray in Phuket, it seems momentum has turned to talk, news and idle chit chat about all things Russian. Suddenly there was an outcry from every corner of Phuket: ''Too many Russians!'' The island was overrun with them.
I have talked to many recent graduates from all walks of life and I keep hearing the same thing. These capable, hard-working young Thais don't want to risk dedicating their careers to public service because they can see the whole system is based on nepotism, where the biggest degenerates with the shadiest contacts make it to the very top.
ASEAN unity will remain an impossible vision as long as its members continue to demand it for the wrong reasons. In truth, each member nation views its association with ASEAN as a means to pursue its national interests. Sacrificing the national agenda to realize the regional good is largely an alien concept to ASEAN members.
The Open Society Foundations found evidence that 54 foreign governments supported hosting CIA prisons, interrogating suspects, allowing airspace for secret flights or providing intelligence after the September 11, 2001 atacks in the US, including Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Thailand. Only Canada has apologised for its role, while three other countries - Australia, Britain and Sweden - have also offered compensation to individuals.
India's national carrier Air India flew two Dreamliner aircraft without passengers even after US regulators grounded the global fleet last month due to technical problems, an official said.
Thailand is a truly rejuvenating place to go on holiday and Phuket has the perfect combination of activity and relaxation. There's snorkelling and scuba diving, watersports and boat rides to other areas. Or if you're after a cultural hit there's plenty of temples and history to immerse yourself in. Me, I just couldn't seem to get off that perfect beach!
Singapore needs to show it is willing to tackle football match-fixing and root out a syndicate identified by European authorities as the source of a sophisticated criminal operation, according to one of the world's leading experts on corruption in sport.
The World Ski Championships got off to the worst possible start when US star Lindsey Vonn suffered a heavy crash during the opening race that put an end to her season. The 28-year-old media starlet landed on the side of her ski after a jump during the opening super-G race in Austria and flipped over before crashing into a safety gate.
Portugal's Olympic committee has banned a female windsurfer for life for concealing her pregnancy so she could compete in the London Games.
Despite being selected for the 2012 Olympics, Carolina Borges failed to turn up for the opening round of competition off the coast of southern England.
Chinese New Year
Chalong Temple Fair: Food, fun each night.
Phuket Old Town Festival, with roads in central Phuket Town walking streets each evening. Parade 5pm on February 15. Street performances nightly.
Phuket FC v Krabi FC at Krabi
Phuket FC v Sriracha SuzuKi FC at Surakul Stadium, Phuket City
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Fourth Asia Beach Games, Phuket