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Heavy rain to continue throughout country

Forest runoff caused by heavy downpours inundated many areas of Kanchanaburi yesterday as the Meteorological Department warned of heavy to very heavy rain over much of Thailand.

Members of 300 families in tambon Salongrua in Kanchanaburi's Huai Krachao district were evacuated to higher ground. The tambon was badly hit by the forest runoff, with flood water levels reaching 1-1.5 metres in some areas. Around 7,000 rai of agricultural land has been damaged and 10 roads have been cut off, according to the district chief, Thotsaphon Chaiyakomin Tharot.

Reports yesterday said other flooded districts included Tha Maka, Tha Muang and Dan Makham Tia. However, the situation in these districts was not deemed to be critical.

According to a warning issued at 4.30pm, torrential rain and isolated heavy to very heavy downpours were likely in the lower Central region, upper South and in the East. This was due to an intense monsoon trough in those areas, while the strong southwest monsoon prevails over the Andaman Sea, Southern Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand.

The department urged people in at-risk areas to beware of severe conditions for the next one to two days. It said wind-driven waves were likely to reach two to three metres in the upper Gulf and the Andaman Sea. All ships should proceed with caution and small boats in the Andaman Sea were told to stay ashore today and tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the week-long 80-centimetre-deep floods from the overflowing Yom River ruined a blooming marigold plantation in Phichit's Pho Prathap Chang district. The owner said he had lost more than Bt100,000.

Flood water continued to recede at the famous border market of Rong Kluea in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaew, where the situation was getting back to normal. Most of the shops at the market were able to resume trading. However, authorities found that garbage blocked the drainage channels and canals, so they would have to work with Cambodian authorities to clear the garbage from the canals on the border.

Authorities in Prachin Buri's Si Maha Pho district used three backhoes to put up a two-metre-high, two-metre-wide soil embankment to prevent floods from hitting more areas of the district. The embankment is being built along a road next to the overflowing Prachin Buri River. Today, they will put wooden poles behind the soil embankment to prevent it from collapsing. More than 10,000 rai of agricultural land in the district was submerged. Floods have hit seven districts of Prachin Buri so far.

Locals in Ranong's La-un district were worried that heavy rain would deepen existing sinkholes. Ten sinkholes have existed in the area for 10 years on fruit and coffee plantations. They said they saw movement of soil at the bottom of some of the sinkholes.

Police, inmates from Bangkok Remand Prison and Khlong Dan Prison, and officers from Watthana District Office yesterday dredged drainage channels in Sukhumvit Soi 39, while inmates from Samut Sakhon Prison also dredged drainage channels in a soi on Bang Khae-Bang Bon Road.

Meanwhile, a representative of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his Royal Consort, Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasmi, yesterday handed out 1,000 relief bags to flood-affected locals in Bang Rakam district in Phitsanulok. Their Royal Highnesses also facilitated the provision of medical treatment to local residents by doctors.


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