Clock ticks on cave rescue

Clock ticks on cave rescue

As the search-and-rescue efforts within Chiang Rai's Tham Luang Cave enter their sixth day Friday, the task of finding the 12 boys and their football coach continues to be hampered by the extreme conditions of the cave environment -- rising water levels and flooding in deeper areas.

With help arriving from across Thailand and other countries, this challenging mission needs something that has been missing right from the start -- a highly organised and well-coordinated command centre with someone in charge who has the necessary experience and abilities in emergency and disaster response.

It is obvious that Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn, who has been at the helm for the past five days, is not that person. The operation under his leadership has been sloppy and disorganised without a proper "war room". As time runs out to save the lives of the boys, aged 11-16, and the 26-year-old coach, the operation, which has expanded and become relatively large in recent days, needs to be run better.

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