Many southern provinces have been hit by flooding worse than any residents there can remember.
Hat Yai residents gather yesterday on the second floor of a house to escape the flooding on the ground floor. WEERAWONG WONGPREDEE
A TV report follows the newspaper story.
Rescuers 'at wits' end'
Hat Yai city left reeling by its worst-ever flood
SONGKHLA Rescuers have struggled to get help to thousands of people stranded in their homes after three days of heavy rain triggered a massive flash flood that knocked down power poles and cut communications in Hat Yai city.
Officials said tens of thousands of people were trapped yesterday in the southern commercial hub which is facing its worst-ever flood crisis.
Torrential rains since Monday caused by a depression in the Gulf of Thailand engulfed Hat Yai municipality and many other areas of the South.
Many districts are under as much as three metres of water. One resident has been electrocuted during the flooding.
Many residents are stranded on the second floor of their homes, unable to venture out for food and supplies, while tourists are being forced to stay in their hotel rooms as rescuers and relief supplies have yet to reach them.
There are about 850,000 people in greater Hat Yai and 180,000 in the city centre.
Officials said a woman was forced to give birth in her room in an apartment block as the high flood waters prevented her from being taken to hospital.
Major roads in Hat Yai such as Phetkasem, Thammanoonvithi and Niphat Uthit were cut by floods with traffic lights shorting out and abandoned vehicles covered with water.
A sudden power failure created panic throughout the municipality.
Meanwhile, banks, petrol stations, schools and state agencies have been shut indefinitely.
Patients at Hat Yai hospital had to be evacuated to higher floors to avoid surging flood waters.
Surachai Lumlertkittikul, director of Hat Yai General Hospital, said more than 500 patients in the hospital were suffering from a shortage of food as relief supplies were taking time to get through.
''Two of our three generators which we need to save the lives of seriously ill patients are out of action from the flooding, while fuel for the remaining one is near to running out,'' Dr Surachai said.
The power failure disrupted thousands of base stations for cellular phones. Mobile phone connections have failed in many areas, particularly in Hat Yai, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Pattani and Surat Thani.
Kimyong and Santisuk markets, which are Hat Yai's major commercial areas and popular with tourists, are under 1.20 metres of water.
Hat Yai mayor Prai Pattano admitted the municipal authorities were caught off guard by the unusually heavy flooding.
''We are now at our wits' end in trying to deal with the crisis and get help through to the victims,'' Mr Prai said.
He said about 80% of Hat Yai was submerged and more than 30,000 households affected, with people stranded and helpless as rescuers cannot reach them yet.
Their Majesties the King and Queen have ordered staff at Taksin Palace in Narathiwat to supply food and clothing to flood victims.
Officials have delivered about 5,000 bags of supplies by helicopter to areas in Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Satun.
The navy, the air force and the army are working with aid agencies to try to get relief through to the flood victims.
rescuer – a person who save someone form a dangerous or unpleasant situation ผู้ช่วยชีวิต
at wits end – so worried and tired because of your problems that you cannot think of any more ways of solving them จนหนทาง
reel – to feel very shocked, upset or confused ตกตะลึง
struggle – to try hard to do something that you find very difficult พยายาม
stranded – left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้
trigger – to cause กระตุ้น
massive – very large ใหญ่มหาศาล
flash flood – a flood that happens suddenly without warning น้ำที่เกิดท่วมในที่ต่ำโดยฉับพลันทันทีและไหลลดลงอย่างรวดเร็ว
trapped – to be in a dangerous or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape ถูกกับดัก
commercial – for business purposes เกี่ยวกับการค้า
hub - the central or main part of something where there is most activity จุดศูนย์กลาง
crisis – a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
torrential – (of rain or moving water) extremely heavy ซึ่งไหลเชี่ยว
depression – an area where the air pressure is low, often causing heavy rain พายุดีเปรสชัน
engulf – to cover or surround something in a way that harms or destroys it ปกคลุม
resident – a person who lives in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
electrocute – to kill or injure someone with electricity ฆ่าหรือทำร้ายด้วยกระแสไฟฟ้า
venture out – to go out into a situation that is unpleasant, dangerous or exciting เสี่ยงภัย ผจญภัย
relief – money, food, medicine etc. that is given to help people in places where there has been a natural disaster, war, etc. เครื่องบรรเทาสาธารณภัย
have yet to – have not yet; have still not
short (circuit) – to cause a bad connection (a short circuit) in the wires of a piece of electrical equipment, which prevents the equipment from working วงจรลัด
abandoned – left by someone ที่ถูกละทิ้ง
panic – a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
municipality – a town, city or district with its own local government เทศบาล
state – government รัฐบาล
indefinitely – for a period of time with no fixed end ไม่มีข้อกำหนด
evacuate – to cause to leave a place because it is not safe เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
surge – to increase very quickly เพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
patient – someone who is receiving medical treatment คนป่วย, คนไข้
suffer – to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation ประสบความลำบาก
shortage – when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
disrupt – to prevent something from continuing as usual or as expected ทำให้เสียกระบวน, ทำให้เสียระบบ, ทำให้สับสน
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
caught off guard – to be surprised by something unexpected เผลอ
victims – people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc. เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
submerged – under water; indundated จมน้ำ อยู่ใต้น้ำ
household – a group of people, often a family, who live together ครัวเรือน
aid – help; assistance ความช่วยเหลือ
Here is part of today's English language news report on Channel 11, presented by our Bangkok Post team. Notice that some of the report comes directly from the news story you have just read.
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