Chiang Rai's Phu Chee-fah was on Tuesday declared a disaster zone after the cave-in of a section of the mountain road leading to the popular tourist destination which subsequently pulled down five roadside shophouses.
Four other shophouses, including a tourist service centre, located nearby are on the verge of collapsing.
Governor Prachon Pratsakun, Thoen district chief Niwat Ngarmthura and military officers from Pa Muang task force and the 37th army circle rushed to the scene in Ban Rom Fa Thai village, Thoeng district, to inspect the damages caused by the road cave-in.
Officials blocked the road about 100 metres from the scene of the cave-in and banned motorists from using the road as half of the road sank underground together with five shophouses.
The Thoeng district chief blamed the cave-in on heavy rains for the past seven running days, causing the earth under the road to cave in. He said that about 99 mm/day of rain water was dumped into the district for the past three days running.
As a temporary measure to resume traffic, he said a movable steel bridge would be installed at the section where the road caved in after which a major repair would be undertaken to close the huge gap on the road.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)