Thousands flee swamped homes to live on roadside | Bangkok Post: learning

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Thousands flee swamped homes to live on roadside

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Forced to leave their riverside homes more than 10 days ago, residents from Warin Chamrap district are now learning how to survive on the side of the road. 

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A woman prepares food by the Warin Chamrap-Ubon Ratchathani road at a temporary shelter near Seri Prachathipatai bridge. She has set up home there after being evacuated from heavily flooded areas in Warin Chamrap municipality in Ubon Ratchathani. Photos and video by Thiti Wannamontha.

Note: Heavy overnight rains have worsened the flooding situation in many areas. Sa Kaew province is becoming increasingly isolated and neighbouring Prachinburi is being hit by another round of flooding. Meanwhile, as the story below indicates, the flood situation in Warin Chamrap district of Ubon Ratchathani has not improved.

Thousands flee swamped homes to live on roadside

Manop Thip-Osod

Forced to leave their riverside homes more than 10 days ago, residents from Warin Chamrap district are now learning how to survive on the side of the road.

Their new "homes" are little more than shacks built along a section of the Warin Chamrap-Ubon Ratchathani road.

With up to 2,500 villagers crammed into the space, many families are living in cramped, makeshift houses provided by the municipality. When they want to go to the toilet, they have to queue up at a nearby petrol station.

"We try to help them as much as we can," station owner Suri Phromdam said, though the increased usage of her facilities has led to higher expenses for her.

The fact that the road is dry seems to be the only good thing about their temporary lifestyle change.

It could be quite a while before normal traffic resumes on this road in Warin Chamrap.


Asked about the other aspects of their experience since the nearby Moon River overflowed, the victims complain about disappearing incomes and a dim future marked by more flooding.

"It's not easy to relocate communities elsewhere," said Prachop Khanasi, 46, a community leader. "They have lived there for a long time and have become connected to the place."

Some elderly residents have even refused to accompany their children to the roadside shelters as they do not want to abandon their homes. As a result, their children or grandchildren have to travel regularly by boat back to the flooded houses to deliver food and take care of their elders, who are now confined to the second floor of their homes.

Many older residents are refusing to leave their flooded homes, relying on their children for delivery of food and other necessities.


Younger men and women are also finding their lives to be more restricted. They cannot earn money as usual. Many lost their working tools when the flood hit their homes, while those who are still managing to work say they are making less money.

Orawan Bunthasen, 54, continues to sell fried chicken to the people of the community, but her income has dropped sharply by 80%.

Her fellow community member, Yutthaphon Manlueang, a 25-year-old fisherman, has been trying to fish in the river in the expectation there would be more fish during the floods, but the current is too strong for him to catch much.

Instead, victims are forced to rely on food and drink supplied by the government and private donations. They can see no signs of when the flooding will subside and things will return to normal.

Frequent flooding in Warin Chamrap has led many residents to almost give up hope of a dry future.

Recently, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited inundated areas in the province and promised to build a kaem ling water retention area, but her words have not eased the locals' concerns.

"I don't see how building a kaem ling would help. Everywhere you look, there are low-lying areas; the entire area is basically a kaem ling," Ms Orawan said, adding that community flood walls have actually obstructed water from flowing out.

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Vocabulary:

abandon: to leave a place, especially because it is difficult or dangerous to stay there - ละทิ้ง 

accompany: to go with someone - ไปกับ,ไปด้วยกัน,ไปเป็นเพื่อน

aspect: one part of a situation, problem, subject, etc - ด้าน,มุม

community: the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน

complain: to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something - บ่น, ร้องทุกข์

concern: a worry - ความกังวล

confined: limited - จำกัด

crammed: completely filled with people or things - คับคั่ง

cramped: not having enough space or time - คับแคบ

current: a strong movement of water in one direction - กระแสน้ำ

dim: not giving any reason to have hope; not good - หมดหวัง

disappear: to no longer exist; to no longer be in use - หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย

donation: money or goods that you give to an organisation, especially one that helps people - เงินหรือสิ่งของบริจาค

ease: to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious - บรรเทา

elderly: (of people) old - สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก

evacuate: to cause to leave a place because it is not safe - เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก

expectations: the belief that something will happen - สิ่งที่คาด คิดว่าจะเกิดขึ้นในอนาคต

facility: a place, especially including buildings, where a particular activity happens -

fellow: of a person that you work with or that is like you - ซึ่งอยู่เป็นกลุ่มเดียวกัน

flee: to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ

flow: (of a liquid) to move continuously in one direction - ไหล

frequent: happening often - เกิดขึ้นบ่อย

improve: to get better - ดีขึ้น

income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้

indicate: to show that something is true, exists or will happen - แสดง, ทำให้รู้

inundated: flooded - ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ

isolate: to set apart from; to disconnect from - แยกออกมา ตั้งอยู่เดี่ยวๆ

locals: people who live in a particular place - ชาวบ้าน

makeshift: using whatever is available and therefore not very good - สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน

municipality: a town, city or district with its own local government - เทศบาล

neighbouring: located or living near or next to a place or person - ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง

normal: typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect - ปกติ, ภาวะปกติ

obstruct: to make it difficult for something to happen or for someone or something to go somewhere - ขวางทาง

overflow: (of a river or body of water) to flood the land next to it - เอ่อล้น, ไหลล้น

private: involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน

queue up: to stand in a line waiting for something - เข้าคิว, เข้าแถว

recently: not long ago - เมื่อไม่นานมานี้, เมื่อเร็วๆ นี้

refuse: to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ

relocate: to move someone or something to another place - โยกย้ายประชาชนออกจากบริเวณ

rely on: to need something in order to continue living, existing, or operating - อาศัย, พึ่งพาอาศัย

resident: a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้ที่อาศัยในท้องที่

restricted: limited - ถูกจำกัด,ถูกจำกัดวง

retention: the act of keeping or storing something - การเก็บ, การเก็บรักษา

section: any of the parts into which something is divided - ส่วน

shack: a very simple and small building made from pieces of wood, metal or other materials - กระท่อม

shelter: a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay - ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว

situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์

subside: to sink to a lower level; to become weaker or less serious - ลดลง

survive: to continue to exist - อยู่รอด  สืบต่อไปได้

swamped: covered with a large amount of water - ท่วม, จมอยู่ในน้ำ

temporary: existing, done or used for only a limited period of time - ชั่วคราว

victim: someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย

More on this topic

Related search: 2013 floods, Warin Chamrap, Ubon Ratchathani, evacuees

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