Tourists and residents fled to higher ground as Lanna Resort and homes in Tambon Ban Pong in Chiang Mai's Hang Dong district were hit by flash flooding from forest runoff early Thursday morning.
People woke at 4am amid flooding from the Mae Tha Chang River, which was swollen from runoff from the upstream Samoeng district, hitting five Hang Dong subdistricts, with Nong Kwai and Nam Phrae particularly affected.
The house of a Thai PBS reporter, Chatchawal Jaiphrom, in Nam Phrae was among those submerged in waist-deep waters described as the “worst flooding in 15 years”.
Ban Thao Kham Wang (Moo 1) in Tambon Hang Dong was inundated by one-metre-deep flooding, causing damage to property. Residents set up tents on elevated roadside areas as the standing water failed to drain.
Floodwaters also made several sections of road impassable for small vehicles. Hang Dong Police Station reported at 10am that a 200-metre section of Highway Number 108 (Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son) in Hang Dong was closed temporarily to traffic due to 60-centimetre-deep flooding, according to a traffic police Facebook page.
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart led officials to inspect the flood damage at 8.30am.�
In the neighbouring province of Lamphun, officials with heavy equipment on Thursday morning were clearing a landslide that had rendered a road between Ban Huai Hom Nok and Bang Huai Hom Nai in Tambon Tha Mae Lob in Mae Tha district impassable on Wednesday evening.
The landslide forced residents and students to take a detour several kilometres long to reach the inner village of 130 households.