Floods cause havoc in South

Floods continued to wreak havoc in the southern provinces as the Meteorological Department forecasts more rains for another week.

So far floodings in the 12 southern provinces since last month have claimed 35 deaths from drowning.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported that heavy rainfall last month caused widespread flooding in 12 provinces stretching from Chumphon down to the far South in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

But by today flood situation in six provinces has eased with only six still remaining a concern after more rains this week could deteriorate the situation.

They are Trang, Nakhon Si Thammasat, SuratThani, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat.

It said more than 260,000 residents have already been affected by previous flooding which hit 689 tambons in 104 districts.

In SuratThani province, low-lying areas in Muang and Phunphin districts are still under water while Nakhon Si Thammarat's Pak Phanang, HuaSai, ChianYai, ChalermPrakiat and Cha-uat districts have also been ravaged by severe flooding, the Bangkok Post reported.

In Yala, four houses in BannangSata district were damaged on Monday by a landslide caused by heavy rainfall which has persisted since Friday.

Meanwhile, water from the Pattani and SaiBuri rivers overflowed banks and inundated orchards and rubber plantations as well as homes.

The Interior Ministry has instructed governors of the southern provinces to prepare for evacuation of villagers as more rains and subsequent flash floods are expected this week.

Interior permanent secretary GrisadaBoonrach said the Thai Meteorological Department has predicted heavy rain will likely continue over much of the South for around 10 more days.

In his instructions, local authorities be prepared to convert city halls, schools and mosques into temporary flood shelters for residents while local administrative authorities will work with the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Provincial Waterworks Authority to prevent electrocutions and drinking water shortages in communities.

Evacuation centres will be set up when needed. Local authorities can also seek additional funds from the government to provide assistance for flood-affected residents if their existing funds are not sufficient, he added.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)