The Nation



Chiang Mai hit by landslide, floods, 2 dead

A landslide devastated a village in Chiang Mai early yesterday, killing two victims and leaving three others missing. All were from the same family.

The disaster took place at about 1am at Ban Mueang Kai in Mae Taeng district in the wake of a prolonged downpour. The rainfall also pushed up the water level in the Ping River, which overflowed into Chiang Mai's town. Even the Night Bazaar was under a 50cm-70cm-deep flood.

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar executive Sitthiporn Techajongjintana said many shops had been forced to close and the flooding had cost them at least Bt100 million in lost trade opportunities.

At the Provincial Police Region 5 living quarters, the flood water was already waist-deep.

Officials located the bodies of the two landslide victims at Ban Mueang Kai but were still unable to bring them out from under piles of soil.

Ban Mueang Kai was also left without electricity and line-based telephone services. At least four houses were completely destroyed.

"Rehabilitation efforts are barely progressing in the face of continued rain," Tambon Mueang Kai Administra-tive Organisation chairman Duang-kham Wutti said.

The Emergency Operations Centre for Floods, Storms and Landslides reported that flooding continued to rage in 21 provinces. Overflowing is also expected to worsen in the Chao Phraya Basin as run-off water from the upper parts of the country races downstream. Furthermore, the Nesat and Haitang storms will bring heavy downpours.

The National Disaster Warning Centre said people in Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Lampang and Phitsanulok should brace for possible flash floods, landslides and overflowing waterways. To date, the official flood-related death toll has risen to 173.

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