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Stories of survival

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Many Hat Yai residents are telling stories of days without food and dry shelter in their flooded neighbourhoods. 

Air force officers help evacuate an old woman from her flooded home. She was taken to a relative’s house in another part of Hat Yai. PATTARACHAI PREECHAPANICH


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Flood stories

A girl sits on a telephone booth to keep herself dry in Ploenjit community in a Hat Yai suburb. SURAPOL PROMSAKA NA SAKOLNAKORN

As flood waters recede in Hat Yai, people are telling their stories of how they survived their ordeals in the stricken city.

Disabled and alone, Sompong Sae Lim managed to scramble on to the roof of his house where he was forced to wait without food for three days before help arrived.

His home in Prachathipat Road in Hat Yai municipality was inundated by the devastating floods that followed the heaviest downpours ever witnessed in the southern city. All he could do was cling to the roof as the rain pelted down and drink whatever rainwater he could collect.

"It has never been so bad that I had to go and live on the roof," Mr Sompong said.

Somkiat Chansuan, 30, a petrol station manager, had a similar experience. He said the water rose very fast and reached 1m deep within two hours.

He used a ladder to climb on to the petrol station's roof where he was joined by about 30 other people who swam from their flooded houses to take refuge there.

‘‘We didn’t receive any help,’’ Mr Somkiat said. ‘‘We had a gas stove so we could boil water and cook some instant noodles. We also were able to pick up some food that floated by in the water to sustain ourselves.’’

Tekphin Choongsiriphap, 67, a resident of Khlong Rian 1, said he had not had any sleep for two nights.

The electricity was cut at 3.30am on Monday after which the water rose to about 1m. He had to stay on top of a wooden table that was the only piece of furniture in his house still above water.

Kamolpan Pongruang, another local resident, said the flood covered her whole house, so she lost all of her electrical appliances and everything else inside the house as well as her car and motorcycle.
 
Adapted from a story by Chaiwat Satyaem in today's Bangkok Post.

survival – the fact or state of continuing to live or exist, especially in difficult conditions การอยู่รอด
shelter – a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว
neighbourhood – a particular area of a city or town ละแวก,ย่าน
evacuate – to cause to leave a place because it is not safe เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
relative – a member of your family ญาติพี่น้อง
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
recede – to move back; to move further away into the distance; subside ลดลง, ถอยหลัง
ordeal – an extremely unpleasant experience, especially one that lasts for a long time การประสบการณ์ที่แสนสาหัส
stricken – affected by serious problems ได้รับผลกระทบจากปัญหาหนักหน่วง
disabled – having a condition, especially a physical one, that limits your activities in some way พิการ
scramble – to move quickly but with difficulty; to take quick action to solve a problem ทำอย่างรีบเร่ง
municipality – a town, city or district with its own local government เทศบาล
inundate – to flood; to submerge ท่วม, ทำให้จมลงใต้น้ำ
devastating – causing serious damage and destruction  ทำลายล้าง
downpour –a lot of rain in a short time ฝนตกหนักมาก, พายุฝน
witness – to see something happen – มองเห็น, เป็นพยาน
cling – to hold on to something tightly ติดแน่น
pelt – (of rain or snow) to come down quickly in large amounts ตกหนัก, กระหน่ำ
ladder – a piece of equipment for reaching high places that consists of two long pieces of wood or metal joined by smaller pieces called rungs บันได
take refuge – to go to a place which provides protection or shelter from danger or trouble ลี้ภัย
stove – a machine or a piece of equipment that provides heat for cooking or heating a room  เตาทำอาหาร, เตาให้ความพร้อม
float – to rest or move slowly on the surface of a liquid and not sink; to be lighter than air, and to move slowly through it ลอยบนผิวน้ำหรือในอากาศ
sustain – to keep someone alive; to give someone strength, energy, or hope ทำให้มีชีวิตต่อไป, ทำให้มีต่อไป
resident – a person who lives in a particular area ผู้พักอาศัย, ผู้อยู่อาศัยในบริเวณ  ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
appliance – a machine or piece of equipment that you have in your home, for example a washing machine or refrigerator  เครื่องใช้

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