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When everything goes wrong

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Flooding brings with it a long list of problems, all of which need to be dealt with eventually. 

Workers secure boats after unloading them from a China Southern Airlines flight at Don Muang airport yesterday. The boats and equipment worth 10 million yuan (48.5 million baht) which China has donated to help battle the floods. Among the donations are 128 motorboats, 60 water purifiers and 120 water tanks. SURAPOL PROMSAKA NA SAKOLNAKORN

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Coping when everything goes wrong

Heavy flooding brings with it a myriad of problems. Among the most obvious are trying to protect people and property, housing and feeding the homeless, treating the sick, transporting people and supplies and, of course, paying for the relief effort.

The list goes on and on. For example, it is not enough just to find shelter and food for those dislocated by the flood. Hygiene is a huge concern in evacuation centres and outbreaks of disease are a real possibility.

Permanent secretary for public health Paijit Warachit yesterday told department heads in Nakhon Sawan, Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani that surveillance measures for infectious diseases should be beefed up. There is a concern there might be outbreaks of conjunctivitis, diarrhoea, dengue fever, flu and leptospirosis, Mr Paijit said.

Health Department director-general Somyot Deerasmi said he was particularly worried about Ayutthaya's evacuation centres, which are currently housing 3,000 flood victims, and called for more mobile toilets.

While most people try to help out as best they can in a flood crisis, others see it as an opportunity to enrich themselves.

One problem that is particularly irksome to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is the rising price of consumer products in flood-stricken areas. Yesterday she ordered the Commerce Ministry to curb the price rises and she asked businesses to cooperate with the government by keeping prices as close to costs as possible.

Burglars are another group of ill-intentioned people who thrive on the suffering of others.

In Ayutthaya there are reports of thieves paddling along flooded residential areas and calling out to see if anyone is inside their homes. No reply means a green light for them to break into a home and take everything they can lay their hands on.

"They take everything, even beds," said Patthamaphon Matphisit, 36, a resident of Rong Ngan Sura community in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district.

"If police nab them, they should chop off their hands," she said angrily.

Adapted from three stories in today's Bangkok Post by Apiradee Treerutkuarkul, Pradit Ruangdit & Phusadee Arunmas, Wassayos Ngamkham & Pakawat Sunpituksaree

secure – to attach or fasten something firmly มัดให้แน่น,  ตรึง, รัด, กระชับ
– to remove things from a vehicle or ship after it has taken them somewhere ขนสินค้าออก
– to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, country, etc. บริจาค
– a device that removes substances that are dirty, harmful or not wanted สิ่งที่ใช้ชำระล้าง
– to deal successfully with a difficult situation or job สู้,ต่อสู้,รับมือ
myriad – an extremely large number of something มากมายมหาศาล, ซึ่งมีจำนวนมหาศาล, ซึ่งนับไม่ถ้วน
obvious – clear; easy to see, recognise or understand ชัดเจน
property – things, especially valuable things, that are owned by someone ทรัพย์สมบัติ, ทรัพย์สิน
supplies – the things such as food, medicines, fuel, etc. that are needed by a group of people สิ่งที่จัดหาให้, เสบียง, เวชภัณฑ์
relief – help; assistance การช่วยให้พ้นภัย
shelter – a temporary place to stay ที่พักชั่วคราว
dislocated – to be out of the normal position or location
hygiene – the degree to which people keep themselves or their environment clean, especially to prevent disease สุขลักษณะ
concern – a worry ความกังวล
evacuation – moving people from a place of danger to a safer place การอพยพ
outbreak – the sudden start of a disease, a war, violence, etc. การระบาดของโรค
surveillance – the process of carefully watching a person or place การเฝ้าตรวจตราอย่างเข้มงวด
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
infectious – able to cause an infection ติดต่อกันได้
beef up – to strengthen เสริมกำลัง
conjunctivitis – an illness in which your eyelid becomes red and swollen เยื่อตาอักเสบ
diarrhea – an illness in which you pass solid waste from your body too often and in a liquid form  อาการท้องร่วง
dengue fever – a very serious illness that you get if a mosquito infected with a particular virus bites you. Dengue fever causes fever, headaches, and pain in the joints ไข้เลือดออก
flu – a very common infectious disease that lasts a short time and makes you feel hot or cold, weak, and tired ไข้หวัดใหญ่
leptospirosis – a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. Humans become infected through direct contact with the urine of infected animals โรคฉี่หนู
currently – at this time; now ในปัจจุบัน
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as an illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
mobile – able to move or be moved around ซึ่งเคลื่อนที่ได้ง่าย
crisis – a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
opportunity – a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something  โอกาส
enrich – to make someone richer ทำให้รวยขึ้น
particularly – especially, or more than usual โดยเฉพาะ
irksome – annoying or irritating  น่ารำคาญ
consumer – someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
-stricken – affected by serious problems ได้รับผลกระทบจากปัญหาหนักหน่วง
cooperate – to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved ร่วมมือกัน
burglar – someone who enters a building illegally in order to steal things ผู้ร้ายย่องเบา, คนลักขโมยของ,
ill-intentioned – deliberately planned to do something bad or harmful เจตนาร้าย  
thrive – to become, and continue to be, successful, strong, healthy, etc. เจริญ,เติบโต,ก้าวหน้า
suffering – physical or mental pain or problems ความทุกข์ทรมาน
thieves – people who dishonestly take something that belongs to someone else and keep it ขโมย
paddle – to use a short pole with a flat wide part at one or both ends to move a small boat through water พายเรือ
residential area – a place where people live
reply – an answer การตอบ
nab – to catch or arrest a criminal จับ
chop off – to cut something into two or more parts with a sharp tool such as a knife ตัดออก

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