Samui flooded as rain batters Surat Thani

Samui flooded as rain batters Surat Thani

Water covers a flooded road on Koh Samui on Saturday following heavy rain on the tourist island. (Photo from @K5_Rescue Twitter account)
Water covers a flooded road on Koh Samui on Saturday following heavy rain on the tourist island. (Photo from @K5_Rescue Twitter account)

Several areas on Koh Samui have been flooded as heavy rain struck the resort island and other locations in mainland Surat Thani province on Saturday.

Koh Samui district chief Paibul Omak told INN news agency that some communities and markets faced inundations of water up to 40 centimetres deep following steady rain exacerbated by high tides in the Gulf of Thailand.

Flooding was easing as the day wore on but more rainfall and the peak period of high tide at 11pm on Saturday remained a worry, he added.

A local group of rescue volunteers also reported on its Twitter account that runoff from inland mountains had worsened flooding on the island.

While floodwaters have receded in other southern provinces, Surat Thani remains hard hit, prompting governor Auychai Inthanak to order officials to stay vigilant after the Meteorological Department warned of more rainfall.

Potential flood-risk areas include Tha Chana, Chaiya, Tha Chang, Phunphin, Kanchanadit, Don Sak, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan districts. Small boats, speedboats and passenger craft are advised not to go out to the sea, according to the governor.

Floodwater hit the municipality of Chaiya district on Saturday, including the police station.

The weather agency on Saturday identified Chumphon, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat as the provinces with potential for heavy rain at least until Monday.

Floods have ravaged 12 southern provinces since early this month and five provinces -- Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Songkhla, Phatthalung and Surat Thani -- are on the alert list of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.

In Surat Thani alone, weather-related damage is estimated at 210 million baht, while the Transport Ministry said more than 500 million baht is needed to repair roads and railways.

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