Floods wreak havoc in South, more rain to come

national December 18, 2018 01:00

By THE NATION

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FLOODS HAVE ravaged three southern provinces over the past few days, leaving behind widespread damage and one person missing.



The hard-hit provinces are Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Phatthalung, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. 

“We are now trying to locate the victim who went missing in Nakhon Si Thammarat,” the department said yesterday without giving any further details. 

The department estimated that the floods had disrupted the lives of more than 166,000 people in the three southern provinces since Saturday. 

Nakhon Si Thammarat was the hardest hit of the provinces. Due to high flood levels, many families have been evacuated and several schools closed, while train services have been rescheduled because some sections of track were swamped.

The Meteorological Department said downpours would continue across the South under the influence of a monsoon storm. 

Phatthalung Governor Kukiat Wongkrapun yesterday warned locals to watch out for more flash floods, as further scattered rain was still likely. 

“People living along waterways have to watch out because the weather bureau suggests that more heavy rain is coming,” he said.

He also warned locals living in mountainous areas to beware of possible landslides. 

According to the Meteorological Department, Chumphon, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun are also at risk of severe flooding. 

In Trang’s Rassada district, the water level has already risen up to 150 centimetres in places because of run-off from Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Thung Song district. 

The Kuan Mao-Khao Ro Road in Rassada district is now so swamped that it has become impassable for cars. 

“I decided to move my belongings to the second floor of my house this morning,” said Uraiwan Khaothong, a resident of Trang. “I also sent my elderly parents and young children to stay with relatives, whose home is still dry.”

Trang Governor Leuchai Charoensap said locals must remain on alert for floods and associated risks at least until today.

Authorities are now helping locals in flood-risk areas move their belongings to safe places, as well as handing out relief items to those living in already-inundated areas. 

Fishermen in the South are advised to be extra cautious because of rough weather conditions. 

Authorities said strong winds are expected to hit the seaside towns of Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan this week. . 

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