• A canal overflows in Phitsanulok province yesterday, flooding Ban Pluak Ngarm School. With floodwaters at least one metre deep, the school suspended classes and asked nearby residents for help to move teaching materials to higher ground.

Emergency evacuations of at-risk groups amid flooding

national July 28, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

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AS HEAVY rains and flooding continued to pummel the country’s North and Northeast yesterday, elderly and sick people as well as children were evacuated on flat-bottom boats out of flood-hit communities in Tambon Bung Preu and Nong Wang in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Thepharak district.



Concerned about the regions’ heavy rains brought by tropical depression Sonca, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed provincial governors in 15 at-risk provinces to mobilise available assistance for flood-affected residents and to expedite the draining of floodwater.

Several areas were under three-metre-deep floods, forcing Nakhon Ratchasima residents to climb onto their roofs while waiting for evacuation by officials and soldiers, said provincial disaster prevention and mitigation chief Suthep Reunthawil.

Temporary shelters in Nong Wang are housing hundreds of victims. 

Rainfall measuring 135 millimetres also hit Kaeng Sanam Nang district flooding many villages, while a large section of the road to Ban Khok Lam in Tambon Thung Sawang in Prathai district was submerged, marooning 174 households, while fish farms in Tambon Prathai had also been damaged.

In Ubon Ratchathani’s Muang district, residents of Wang Daeng community along the Mul River are living in tents set up along a road after being flooded out of their homes. Water levels in the Mul and Mekong rivers have risen significantly in the province, slowing the run-off of floodwater. 

The Mul was within 80 centimetres of topping its banks in Warin Chamrap district, threatening to inundate five riverside communities. 

In the meantime, six trains on the Bangkok-Nong Khai route had to detour and were hence delayed due to landslides that have buried the track at a mountain tunnel linking Khokklee station in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Si Khiew district and Chong Samran station in Chaiyaphum’s Thepsathit district since Wednesday night. 

Landslides block roads

Days of downpours in Phitsanulok’s Noen Maprang district caused one-metre-deep flash flood at Ban Nam Pad yesterday morning before the flood torrents moved on to the downstream Wang Thong district. 

Ban Nam Pad School had to call off classes to remove muddy water from the school building and clean up class materials, said school director Ket Tuankrua. He said classes would resume on Monday.

Meanwhile, Lop Buri’s Lam Sonthi district was largely underwater yesterday morning following heavy rain and runoff from neighbouring Nakhon Ratchasima upstream. 

By 2am the floodwater was a metre deep at the Lam Phaya Klang Animal Husbandry and Research Centre in Tambon Nong Ri and at Ban Wang Thong School in Tambon Khao Ruak. Soldiers and provincial officials boarded flat-bottom boats to reach residents struggling to cope.

On Wednesday evening, a landslide triggered by days of heavy rain blocked a main road and damaged two houses in Tambon On Nua of Chiang Mai’s Mae On district. 

The road was reopened to traffic yesterday. District chief Phattaraporn Laijud said the landslide occurred at 7:16pm in Moo 9 village, destroying the house of Thao Phochan and partially damaging another owned by Sompong Wat Taya. No one was injured. 

Officials had provided initial aid to affected homeowners.

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