Aftermath of Podul leaves 16 dead

Aftermath of Podul leaves 16 dead

10 provinces still facing severe floods

Sixteen people have been killed since northern Thailand began experiencing the impacts of Tropical Storm Podul, coupled with a strong southwestern monsoon, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) said yesterday.

Four deaths were reported in Amnat Charoen, another four in Roi Et, three in Khon Kaen, two in Phichit, one in Ubon Ratchathani, one in Phitsanulok and one fatality in Mukdahan, said Chayaphon Thitisak, director-general of the DDPM.

One person was reported missing in Nan and another was injured in Ubon Ratchathani, he said.

More than 102,000 households across 31 provinces have been affected by the extreme weather conditions, he said.

Of the 31 affected provinces, 10 are still struggling to deal with floods, namely Phetchabun, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Amanat Charoen, Yasothon, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Roi Et and Si Sa Ket, he said.

Due to the serious disaster situation, 15 evacuations of about 1,400 disaster victims were carried out in four provinces -- Khon Kaen, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon and Ubon Ratchathani, he said.

In Ubon Ratchathani, local officials worried about safety after the electricity supply was cut off to about 800 houses in several flooded villages in tambon Tha Muang of Don Mod Daeng district.

They were installing about 30 water propellers in the Mun River in Phibul Mangsahan district to speed up floodwater drainage.

The Meteorological Department yesterday predicted that heavy rains would continue in the Northeast and the East, with a possibility of flash floods.

The DDPM is cooperating with each province and the military to reach out to people in affected areas, he said.

They are speeding up the distribution of relief supplies, increasing the number of water pumps in flooded areas, and are sending more boats in to support evacuations of flood victims, he said.

People living in disaster-prone zones are being advised to closely monitor weather updates as heavy rain continues in several parts of the country, he said.

Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Navy yesterday began sending a total of 25 boats to the northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon.

The province is dealing with one of the worst flooding situations in the country, said Rear Admiral Warodom Suwari, director of the psychological operations office of the Naval Civil Affairs Department.

The province now needs to speed up its release of excess water from the Nong Han freshwater lake, and into the Lam Nam Kam Canal which leads to the Mekong River, he said.

Witthaya Chanchalong, the provincial governor of Sakon Nakhon, previously requested that the boats be used to accelerate the flow of water into the canal, he said.

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