Navy to the rescue

Navy to the rescue

The navy has sent the country's only aircraft carrier Chakri Naruebet and two frigates to lead relief efforts in the South

Four-metre waves strike the beach along Talumpuk Cape in Nakhon Si Thammarat's Pak Phanang district yesterday. High waves have damaged coastal fishing communities in the area. NUCHAREE RAKRUN

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Navy races South to aid victims

Storms, floods set a destructive path as stranded tourists, residents wait for help

The navy has sent the country's only aircraft carrier Chakri Naruebet and two frigates to lead relief efforts in the South as more storms aggravate the flood crisis in many areas.

The HTMS Chakri Naruebet left Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri yesterday and is expected to arrive at Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand this morning to help evacuate tourists and local people stranded there.

More than 1,100 tourists and local residents have been left on the island after bad weather forced ferry operators to suspend services to the mainland.

Thousands more foreign and local tourists have also been stuck on nearby Koh Samui because of the heavy storms.

Officials said a naval rescue team will use small boats and its two Seahawk helicopters to move the stranded people to the carrier.

Two frigates –  HTMS Bang Pakong and HTMS Long Lom –  will lead the mission in evacuating tourists from Similan and Surin islands in the Andaman Sea.

The Marine Police yesterday rescued six university students and a nine-year-old girl from Koh Klaeb off Chumphon province after they had been stranded on the island for five days.

The widespread flooding in the region brought by heavy rain has ravaged 2,763 villages, affecting 310,406 households. The official death toll rose to 11 yesterday.

The Fourth Army Region has set up relief centres in five flood-ravaged provinces to speed up relief and rescue operations.

Their Majesties the King and the Queen have donated relief supply bags to some 4,000 flood-stricken families in three provinces of Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung.

Heavy rainfall during the past few days have forced air and rail services to key southern provinces to ground to a halt since early this week.

A pickup is washed into a roadside ditch on Asia Highway No. 41 in Chaiya district in Surat Thani yesterday. NUCHAREE RAKRUN

Flash floods have also made many key highways impassable, impeding efforts by government agencies concerned to dispatch help to residents in flood-stricken areas.

Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun have been declared flood crisis zones.

Yesterday, the situation was reported to be especially bad at Lam Talumphuk in Nakhon Si Thammarat's Pak Phanang district, where strong winds and four-metre-high waves caused damage to 300 homes and forced an evacuation of residents.

The storm uprooted trees and damaged power poles causing blackouts in many areas.

In Koh Samui, worried tourists are beginning to express their frustration at a relative lack of information from airline operators.

"Nobody is telling us what is happening," said Shyatto Raha, a tourist from India who brought his wife to Koh Samui for a holiday.

"It is difficult with Bangkok Airways. We hung out at the airport the entire day yesterday trying to find a flight. It was chaos at the airport."

Koh Samui authorities have started moving people to temples on higher grounds as heavy rains caused flash floods that destroyed roads and cut communications.

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wave – a raised line of water that moves across the surface of the sea, ocean, etc คลื่น
strike – to hit with great force กระแทก, ถั่งโถม, พัดกระหน่ำ
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
aid – to help ช่วย
victims – people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc.
destructive – causing great damage or harm ซึ่งเป็นการทำลาย
stranded – left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
aircraft carrier – a large ship that carries aircraft which use it as a base to land on and take off from  เรือบรรทุกเครื่องบิน
frigate – a small fast ship in the navy that travels with other ships in order to protect them เรือรบเคลื่อนเร็วขนาดเล็ก
relief – help; assistance การช่วยให้พ้นภัย
aggravate – to make a bad situation or condition worse ทำให้แย่ลง
crisis – a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
base – a place where an army, a navy, etc. operates from [N] ฐานทัพ, ฐานที่มั่น
evacuate – to cause to leave a place because it is not safe เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
ferry – a boat for taking passengers across an area of water, especially as a regular service เรือรับส่งข้ามฟาก
operator – a person or company that runs a business ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
suspend – to stop for a period of time ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว
mainland – a large mass of land that forms the main part of a country but does not include any islands belonging to the country  แผ่นดินใหญ่
stuck – unable to move, or fixed in a particular position or place ติด
rescue – to save someone from a dangerous situation ช่วยชีวิต
mission – an important job, especially a military one, that someone is sent somewhere to do ภาระกิจ, หน้าที่, งาน
marine – relating to the sea and creatures that live in it เกี่ยวกับทะเล
widespread – happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
region – a large area of land, usually without exact limits or borders  ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ
ravage – to destroy something or damage it very badly ทำให้เสียหาย, ทำลาย, ล้างผลาญ
household – a group of people, often a family, who live together  ครัวเรือน
death toll – the number of people killed ยอดผู้เสียชีวิต
donate – to give something such as money or goods to people in need, etc. บริจาค
-stricken – affected by serious problems ได้รับผลกระทบจากปัญหาหนักหน่วง
key – most important  ที่สำคัญ
grind to a halt – to come to a complete stop
ditch – a long narrow open channel dug into the ground usually at the side of a road or field, which is used especially for supplying or removing water, or for dividing land คูน้ำ
flash flood – a flood that happens suddenly without warning น้ำที่เกิดท่วมในที่ต่ำโดยฉับพลันทันทีและไหลลดลงอย่างรวดเร็ว
impassable – of a road or path that cannot be travelled on because it is blocked or because of bad weather conditions  ซึ่งผ่านไปไม่ได้
impede – to delay or stop the progress of something กีดขวาง, กั้นขวาง
concerned – involved in something, or affected by something เกี่ยวข้องกับ ที่สัมพันธ์กับ
dispatch – to send someone or something somewhere ส่งคนออกไป
declare – to announce officially that something is happening ประกาศ
crisis – an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation  วิกฤตการณ์
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์
uproot – to pull a whole tree or plant from the ground, including all the roots that grow in the soil ถอนต้นไม้, ถอนราก
blackout – a sudden loss of electrical power ไฟดับ
frustration – an annoyed or discouraged feeling because you cannot do or have what you want ความผิดหวัง,  ความไม่พอใจ
relative – somewhat; in comparison with  ค่อนข้าง
lack of – when there is not enough of something  ขาด
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess ความยุ่งเหยิง, ความสับสน
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
communications – the process of sending information through television, radio, and telephone signals การสื่อสาร

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