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Three dead in Phitsanulok floods

Floods have killed at least three people including a child in Phitsanulok and wreaked havoc in various other provinces.

Published on October 8, 2007

All victims were residents of Phitsanulok's Wang Thong district, which is now declared a disaster-hit zone. They were Anirut Satcharoen, 32, Pongsakorn Kanmanee, nine, and Prathum Yamtad, 73.

Anirut's body was found floating in a flooded field yesterday.

Lt-Colonel Tulawoot Wimala, on-duty inspector at Wang Thong Police Station, said rescue workers also found his motorcycle in the same field. According to police investigations, evidence suggests that Nirut was riding his motorcycle on his way back home last Thursday when a strong current of run-off water from a forest on higher ground swept through Phitsanulok-Sak Lek Road and pushed him into the flooded field.

"The floodwater in the field is more than one metre deep," Tulawoot said.

Rescue workers also found the body of Pongsakorn yesterday in a thicket about 15 metres away from where he was swept away in the strong current on Saturday.

Local people said Prathum was retrieving his bamboo fish trap in a drainage pipe when the strong current of run-off water from the forest suddenly swept him away, throwing his body into the pipe.

Local people recovered his body.

"The flooding situation is rather serious here," Wang Thong district chief Wattana Kannaphan said yesterday. "Many villagers have been marooned by floodwater for three days already."

Deputy Prime Minister Paiboon Wattanasiritham, who is also social development and human security minister, visited flood victims in Phitsanulok yesterday, including those living in Wang Thong district.

The flooding situation has also caused concerns in other provinces. Phichit Governor Preecha Ruangchan declared Sak Lek, Wang Sai Phun, Thab Khlo, Khong Charoen and Bang Mun Nak districts as disaster-hit zones in the face of rising floodwater.

In Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district, community leaders warned people living along Mae Sai River to move to higher ground early yesterday.

"Fortunately, I could move goods in my shop to higher ground in time. Many shop owners have lost all their goods in the floods," Nuan Changkiat said.

In the north-eastern province of Loei, more than 100 houses were flooded. In the hardest-hit areas, the floodwater was as deep as five metres.

Local authorities have reported that floods had damaged at least 400 rai of farmland, 20 fish ponds and nine roads.

In Ubon Ratchathani, another north-eastern pro-vince, floods have damaged more than 5,000 rai of farmland and marooned four villages in Khong Chiam district.

Meanwhile, National Disaster Warning Centre chairman Smith Dharmasaroj said if downpours in the North continued, run-off water could finally hit Bangkok. "This will depend on water management in Nakhon Sawan," he said.

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