Shanshan floods cripple South

Flash floods and landslides caused by tropical storm Shanshan have forced school closures and inundated several communities across parts of the lower South.

Downpours have lashed five districts of Phatthalung for several days, triggering heavy run-off that flooded more than 2,000 homes and damaged more than 10,000 rai of farmland. The districts are Kong Ra, Si Nakharin, Khuan Khanun, Khao Chaison and Muang.

Flash floods in parts of Kong Ra and Muang districts left at least two villages under 80cm of water.

Officials closed 10 schools in the five districts due to the flooding.

Nichel Kongkliang, 34, of tambon Khlong Sai Kao in Kong Ra district, said water run-off has eroded more than 30 rai of orchard and rubber farmland in the district.

Narit Mongkolsri, Kong Ra district chief, said he has requested 6 million baht from the provincial office to repair flood walls.

In Songkhla, three days of continuous rain have inundated 20 homes in Rattaphum district and the water continues to rise. The provincial disaster prevention office said the villages located at the base of mountains are in critical danger of possible mudslides.

The office chief, So Hemkul, said Songkhla's three main reservoirs at Khlong Sadao, Khlong La and Khlong Jahai were half full and could still receive more water.

However, 12 districts, with the exception of Ranot, Krasae Sin, Singha Nakhon and Sathing Phra, are at risk of landslides.

In Narathiwat, widespread flooding was reported in Sungai Kolok, Waeng, Chana, Si Sakhon and Sukhirin. More than 10 roads in the districts are impassable. A flood has forced the evacuation of more than 60 families in Hua Saphan community in Sungai Kolok municipality.

Mahamapissakree Wamae, head of the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, said rain is expected to ease in the far South as remnants of the weakened Shanshan tropical storm have moved away from Malaysia. More than 1,000 small fishing boats remain on shore as waves are still 2 metres high.

Pramul Lamul, Pattani provincial governor, said a flood warning has been issued for residents on the banks of Pattani River. A similar flood warning is also in effect in Thung Wa, Langu, Khuan Ka Long and Muang districts of Satun.

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