King gives aid to flood victims

King gives aid to flood victims

Meteorological Dept says rain to continue

Officials on a flat-bottom boat distribute basic necessities to flood-stranded residents in Surat Thani's Phrasaeng district. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)
Officials on a flat-bottom boat distribute basic necessities to flood-stranded residents in Surat Thani's Phrasaeng district. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has provided relief bags for residents in flood-ravaged southern provinces.

Speaking after an inspection of the affected areas, 4th Army chief Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich said he had ordered all 22 branches of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Centre to quickly provide help to victims.

Udom Petkhut, chief of the 11th Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Centre overseeing Surat Thani, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung, said His Majesty expressed concern over the livelihoods of villagers affected by floodwater which has plagued the southern region since last week.

Mr Udom said centre staff will be deployed to hand out the relief bags to flood victims today, adding other equipment necessary for providing assistance for villagers will also be prepared.

The flood situation in the South has continued to worsen after the region was pounded by consecutive days of heavy rains since last week. The downpours also triggered flash floods and landslides in several provinces.

Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokeswoman of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said Tuesday the NCPO has instructed the 4th Army Region to work with flood-relief agencies in providing help to flood victims.

Rescue workers on a boat patrol a flooded area in Sichon District, Nakhon Si Thammarat province, on Saturday. (Dailynews/via Reuters)

Military forces will be deployed to help evacuate villagers to safe areas, move their belongings to higher ground and build sandbag walls to keep out floodwater. The forces will also help distribute flood-relief bags as well as provide maintenance to local roads and bridges damaged by the floods, Col Sirichan added.

Meanwhile, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chatchai Promlert said Tuesday 14 people have been killed and about 582,000 residents from 212,300 families affected by floods in 88 districts of 11 southern provinces. The 11 provinces are Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Ranong. He said 676 roads and 33 local bridges were also damaged by floods.

Of the flood-plagued provinces, the situation in three provinces -- Krabi, Yala, Narathiwat -- has eased.

According to the Meteorological Department (TMD), heavy rains are likely to continue in the southern region, causing runoff and flash floods in some provinces.

The stormy weather will also cause waves of two to three metres high in the Gulf of Thailand of the Andaman Sea.

Mr Chatchai said he ordered agencies under his supervision to monitor the weather so they can provide assistance for residents in time, adding staff and necessary equipment were on standby as well.

Also Tuesday, Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda, accompanied by Mr Chatchai and Provincial Administration Department director-general Pol Lt Arthit Boonyasophat, visited the Nakhon Si Thammarat municipality to inspect the situation.

Five residents have been killed and over 300,000 residents from about 108,000 families affected by floodwater in 23 districts.

A total of 500 flood-relief bags were given away to flood-stricken local residents in the province.

At the city hall, the delegation was also briefed on the flood situation in Nakhon Si Thammarat and other neighbouring provinces including Surat Thani, Songkhla, Phatthalung and Trang by their governors.

Meanwhile, deputy national police spokesman Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen said national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda has instructed the Provincial Police Regions 8 and 9, the Southern Border Provinces Police Operation Centre as well as marine, railway and highway police divisions to deploy their forces to help flood-affected residents in the South.

Basic necessities will be distributed while security measures will also be beefed up to provide safety for villagers and prevent possible crimes caused by ill-intentioned people who try to exploit the situation to their advantage.

The Highway Police Division also warned travellers planning to visit the southern region to check weather forecasts and proper routes for the sake of their safety.

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