Floods persist in 9 provinces, deaths reach 36

The northern border district of Mae Sai in Chiang Rai remains heavily inundated. (Photo by Chinpat Chaimon)

Floods that have claimed a total of 36 lives and affected more than 600,000 households since early July have receded in 38 provinces but nine remain inundated, a senior official said on Saturday.

Days of heavy downpours brought by tropical storms Talas and Sonca triggered flash floods in 44 provinces between July 5 and Aug 18. A total of 609,425 families in 14,105 villages were affected and 34 people died, Chatchai Promlert, head of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, said on Saturday.

The flooding damaged 2,574 houses, 2,401 bridge-necks, 207 bridges and 8,753 weirs, he said. About 1.51 million rai of agricultural land and 149.4 rai of fishing areas were also damaged.

As of Saturday, water had receded in 38 provinces, but six remained inundated: Kalasin, Nakhon Phanom, Roi Et, Yasothon and Ubon Ratchathani in the Northeast and Ayutthaya in the Central Plains, Thai media reported.

Another outbreak of flooding that began on Aug 12 affected eight provinces, including four in the South: Trang, Satun, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Krabi; three in the North: Phicit, Nan and Chiang Rai; and Trat in the East. A total of 6,324 households in 206 villages were affected and two people died, said Mr Chatchai.

Floodwaters have now subsided in five of those provinces but were persisting in Satun, Phichit and , he added.

In the northeastern province of Kalasin, officials led by Royal Forestry Department deputy chief Jaresak Nanthawong on Saturday handed out 100 relief bags to affected residents in three villages: Ban Don Sa-nguan in Muang district, Ban Khao Lam in Kamalasai district and Bang Wang Yang in Khong Chai district

The Meteorological Department is forecasting abundant rain with isolated heavy showers in many areas of the country to persist through Sunday as a monsoon trough lies across the North and the Northeast, while the strengthened southwest monsoon prevails over the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Waves in the Andaman are expected to be 2-3 metres high.

As the southwest monsoon and the monsoon trough weaken from Monday onward, isolated heavy rain is expected in the East, the South and Bangkok.

Jaresak Nanthawong, deputy chief of the Royal Forestry Department, presents relief supplies to two residents during an inspection tour of Kalasin on Saturday. (Photo by Yongyut Phupuangphet)

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