Saturday, 7 July 2018

Chinese tourists killed as diving boat capsizes off the coast of Phuket, Thailand.

At least thirty three people have died and twenty three more are missing after a boat offering diving tours of the coral reefs around the island of Phuket in Thailand capsized after sailing into a tropical storm on Thursday 5 July 2018. The vessel, which was one of a number of such craft that ignored a warning about the storm, which brought with it waves up to five metres high, was carrying 110 Chinese tourists, plus one guide and eleven crew members. All of the confirmed dead are reported to be Chinese nationals, with divers from the Royal Thai Navy searching the vessel and surrounding waters for survivors, aided by local fishing vessels. A second boat, carrying 39 European tourists, also capsized, but all of the passengers and crew of that vessel have been accounted for.

Chinese tourists rescued by local fishermen after their tour vessel capsized, being transferred to a Thai Navy ship. CNN.

Tropical storms are caused by solar energy heating the air above the oceans, which causes the air to rise leading to an inrush of air. If this happens over a large enough area the in rushing air will start to circulate, as the rotation of the Earth causes the winds closer to the equator to move eastwards compared to those further away (the Coriolis Effect). This leads to tropical storms rotating clockwise in the southern hemisphere and anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere.These storms tend to grow in strength as they move across the ocean and lose it as they pass over land (this is not completely true: many tropical storms peter out without reaching land due to wider atmospheric patterns), since the land tends to absorb solar energy while the sea reflects it.

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