King urges govt to help flood victims
His Majesty the King is concerned about the floods which have affected 23 provinces, and which threaten more, including Bangkok, and has requested the government to prepare both rescue and rehabilitation plans for victims, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Monday.
Gen Prayut made the statement to a number of flood victims during a visit Monday to Wiset Chai Chan School in Wiset Chai Chan district of Ang Thong province.
The premier promised the government would help all flood victims, including by introducing a jobs-creation programme in each affected province to compensate people for any economic losses they have suffered, such as being unable to farm flooded land.
But Gen Prayut said he had instructed the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to closely monitor business operators in affected areas to ensure they do not attempt to bump up the prices of essential consumer products, according to NCPO deputy spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong.
- See also: Why they need better help
From Oct 10 until Sunday, more than 120,000 households in 78 districts of 23 provinces had been affected by floods.
Chayapol Thitisak, director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said 111,434 households in 60 districts of 17 provinces are still flooded.
In Sapphaya district of Chai Nat province, for instance, more than 200 houses in Wat Maprang community in tambon Pho Nangdam Ok, have been under a metre of water for more than a month.
Affected residents have been camping out in drier areas and are relying on supplies provided by the local administrative bodies.
More than 3,000 people in four districts of Chai Nat are still affected by flooding.
Even though runoff flowing into the Chao Phraya Dam has started to decrease, water levels measured in some downstream areas remained at 16 metres above the mean sea level.
In Sam Khok district of Pathum Thani, a group of residents of tambon Ban Pathum has put up a huge banner barring tambon administration organisation (TAO) executives from entering the community.
Peerasak Pongputthipat, the kamnan of the tambon, said locals were angered that the TAO did not keep its promise to bring in 5,000 sandbags before Thursday, when a massive flood hit the community.
Instead, Mr Peerasak said, they came four days later with sandbags and cameras for a photo opportunity.
As of Monday, flooding continues to affect a total of 290,938 people nationwide, and had killed 10 people, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.
The provinces still affected are Sukhothai, Pichit, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Chai Nat, Pathum Thani, Suphan Buri, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Roi Et and Ubon Ratchathani.
The department said the six provinces which had been affected, but where water levels have now returned to normal are Kamphaeng Phet, Loei, Phetchabun, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai and Tak.
The Meteorological Department, meanwhile, warned that torrential rain and rough seas are forecast for the southern provinces from Prachuap Khiri Khan down to Krabi from today until Friday.