Weather warning threatens more misery for flooded residents of South
Heavy continuous rain in the South has brought flooding in many provinces while residents have been warned of further flash flooding and told to prepare to evacuate to higher ground.In Narathiwat, heavy downpours have caused the Kolok River to overflow, inundating houses and farmland in Waeng, Tak Bai and Sungai Kolok districts.
Flash flooding from the Sankalakhiri Ridge has added to the crisis in these districts, causing the water levels to rise as much as 30-40 centimetres.
The floods forced about 60 households in Sungai Kolok municipality to evacuate to higher ground. The residents have also been forced to move their vehicles.
A police checkpoint has been set up to direct motorists away from impassable roads.
Flooding was expected to spread to more areas, with rain continuing to fall at press time yesterday.
Elsewhere, authorities in Trang province issued a ban on people playing in six waterfalls in three districts over concern for flash floods following two consecutive days of heavy rain.
The waterfalls - Kachong and Toneplew in Na Yong district, Sairung in Yan Ta Khao district and Toete, Tontok and Lamploke in Palian district - are still open to visitors but people are prohibited from entering the water. Officials in the areas are on alert and armed with sirens in case flash floods hit.
Trang Governor Theerayuth Iamtrakul said local authorities have been ordered to inform residents in at-risk areas to be on alert and ready to move to higher ground.
In Songkhla, flooding in Rattapum district has spread to five tambons, but the remainder of the province is so far free of floods.
A Rattapum rescue centre reported that 1,420 households of 4,240 people, as well as about 3,500 rais of farmland in 28 villages in the five tambons, have been hit by the floods, with damage estimated to be more than Bt9 million.
Soh Hemkul, chief of Songkhla's rescue centre, said surveys had revealed that three local reservoirs are only half full, meaning they could bear more water. Water levels also remain low in canals in Muang district, he added, and could handle drainage for any flooding.
"Therefore, we are confident that we can cope with flooding if it happens," Soh said.
However, residents in risky areas such as hills or lowlands have been warned of possible flash floods, he said, adding that what authorities are most concerned about, as downpours continue, is flash floods and landslides hitting the eight mountainous districts in Songkhla.
The Weather Department yesterday forecast a likelihood of scattered rain with isolated heavy, to very heavy, rain in the lower South. Residents in Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat were given a severe-weather warning for the next one or two days.