Lower North, upper Central regions lashed

national September 10, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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Residents in Uttaradit fighting floods; farms in

Flash floods have hit several provinces in the lower North and upper Central regions after days of heavy rain. Many urban areas are still inundated, with two districts in Uttaradit hit the hardest.

More than 300 households in Muang and Laplae districts have been affected, with a number of residents isolated, as a 100-metre stretch of road to a key bridge collapsed after being hit by strong currents. About 100 soldiers helped evacuate residents in the 300 homes, and gave relief supplies to them and others flood victims.
Panic reigned in five communities in Muang Uttaradit, which suffered a flash flood up to 50cm deep. Soldiers and relief workers provided assistance and supplies in the two districts, where water was about a metre deep.
A flood washed away the clay foundation under a 50-metre rail section in Lamphun’s Mae Tha district, causing a halt to local services and delaying trains between Bangkok and the North from Saturday. 
Repairs and filling in the foundation are underway. The work was expected to take 10 days, a local railway official said.
In Lampang, seven districts out of 13 have been declared disaster zones. This covers 81 tambons where thousands of people reside. A reservoir in Na Muen district in Nan was also reported to have cracked, which could risk a flash flood swamping 65 nearby homes.
A total of around 5,000 rai of farmland in Phichit, which has been under torrential rain for several days, has been flooded and most of the rice crop has started to rot. Districts in the upper areas were getting dry but those in lower parts were still inundated, provincial authorities said.
In Phitsanulok, a 100-metre section of a major road was blocked by mudslides, disrupting transport of farm products, commuters and with causing heavy congestion of trucks and large vehicles. Heavy machinery needed to dig out the mud was travelling slowly to the site because of bad traffic jams.
A mudslide warning was given to people in five districts: Nakhon Thai, Chart Trakan, Wang Thong, Wat Bote, and Nern Maprang, the provincial disaster relief office said.
Meanwhile, the situation in Tak improved after heavy rain stopped, but low-lying areas and those near rivers and water remained flooded. Major roads, including the local Asia Route, linking Um Phang, Phob Phra and Mae Sot districts remained flooded, partly damaged or blocked by mudslides, the Um Phang district chief Suchart Theekhasuk said.
There were also warnings about heavy rain in the North, with 80 per cent of areas expected to be hit, especially in Tak, Mae Hong Son and Chiang Rai. The weather bureau anticipated rain covering 40 per cent of areas elsewhere across the country, including Bangkok, with a slight drop in temperatures nationwide. 

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