Monsoon season delays rescue of children trapped in Thai cave

The Thai children and their trainer who had been lost in a cave complex in Thailand were found alive: how will they get them out of where they are trapped?

Monsoon season delates rescue of children trapped in Thai cave

On the night of Monday, July 2, 12 Thai children, members of the Wild Boar soccer team and their 25-year-old trainer, were found alive after 9 days of being disappeared inside the Tham Luang cave system in northern Thailand, near the border with Myanmar. The rescue diving mission that managed to find the children alive was led by the British John Volanthen and Richard Stanton, who managed to reach the dry area in which the children are trapped. The young people have been visited by doctors and have received food and rescue items, but their exit from the cave seems to be more complicated than expected.

Leer en español: ¿Por qué aún no han sido rescatados los niños atrapados en una cueva en Tailandia?

Why is the rescue so complicated?

The monsoon season that Southeast Asia faces every year has already begun, so water levels have increased and will continue to do so over the coming months, penetrating covered spaces within the Tham Luang cave complex. This is one of the main reasons why children were stuck in the first place, but it is also one of the main obstacles faced by rescuers, since none of the children knows how to swim and it is not known how serious the increase will be. water levels.

To this we can add that, after 9 days without food, the children are weakened and their bodies would not be able to face the physical effort that a rescue would entail. Although they have received medical attention and appear to be in good condition according to the rescue tests sent to their relatives, their bodies have been weakened by the lack of food and light.

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The 4 options for the rescue

During the last days the authorities and experts present in the area of ​​the tragedy have probed different options for the rescue of the minors. According to the article published on CNN on July 3, members of the Royal Thai Navy such as Captain Akanand Surawan have asked to have food supplies for the next four months, the estimated time remaining of the monsoon season. This option has also been supported by members of the National Cavern Rescue Commission in the United States who suggest waiting until the water levels drop.

Meanwhile, another of the interventions that the Thai government has begun to apply has been the drainage of water from the cave, hoping to reopen the entrance through which the children arrived almost two weeks ago. According to the article by the Washington Post correspondent for Southeast Asia, Shibani Mahtani, this is the option that the Thai authorities have been contemplating since Tuesday, so they have managed to drain more than 120 million liters of water from the cave system. However, the threat of rain that for the next few days can hinder the rescue process and the success of this measure.

The third option that has been mentioned recalls the famous case of the 33 Chileans trapped in a mine in 2010. In that case, the rescue that was televised worldwide took place after 69 days, it was possible thanks to the excavation of a route of escape and a capsule that was taking out all the miners one by one. However, the Tham Luang cave system is complex and the porosity of the rock can make this type of measurement difficult.

According to the British who found the children, the long journey was difficult, especially because in many cases the water is muddy and visibility is very low. Finally, one of the most mentioned options in recent days has been to teach the children children to swim and dive, so that an underwater rescue can be carried out accompanied by professional teams. The problems in this case are several because, on the one hand it is talking about children between 11 and 16 years old who cannot swim and are physically weakened, and on the other is a complex process because it requires advanced levels of diving and knowledge.

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Delgado

Translated from "¿Por qué aún no han sido rescatados los 12 niños atrapados en una cueva en Tailandia?"

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