Prayut assesses flood chaos in Isan

Prayut assesses flood chaos in Isan

More than 16,000 displaced, 27 dead

Fifty-two rural roads in six provinces in the Northeast have been rendered impassable by floods after tropical storms Podul and Kajiki hit much of the North and Northeast last week.

Manop Susing, deputy director-general of the Department of Rural Roads, on Monday said that a total of 64 rural roads in Roi Et, Maha Sarakham, Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon and Mukdahan were flooded. Of them, 52 were impassable.

Workers were racing against time to repair damaged roads and bridges while temporary Bailey bridges were constructed to help local people, Mr Manop said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday led a visit to flood victims in Yasothon and Ubon Ratchathani. He was accompanied by Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow.

Gen Anupong said that evacuees in the two northeastern provinces have been provided with temporary shelter and drinking water while a khrua phraratchathan, a royally bestowed kitchen, was set up to cook and hand out food to them.

Vehicles and boats were also provided for local residents to travel in flooded areas, he said, adding that flood damage will be surveyed and assessed once the water recedes. Remedial measures will be proposed to help flood victims in line with Finance Ministry regulations, Gen Anupong said. He added that the government could quickly disburse flood relief funds by drawing on a reserve emergency budget.

Prime Minister's Office Minister Tewan Liptapallop said that a total of 178 temples in 20 provinces nationwide have been affected by floods triggered by last week's storms.

Noting that monks had to wade through floodwater during their traditional alms-collecting rounds, the minister said he has instructed the National Office of Buddhism to assist affected clergy and temples.

Chayapol Thitisak, chief of the Department of Disaster Mitigation and Prevention, said that a total of 32 provinces have been hit by Podul and Kajiki since Aug 29, causing flash floods, forest run-offs and landslides.

Altogether 368,918 households have been affected, and 27 deaths reported, he said.

Some 16,231 residents in Phitsanulok, Phichit, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani, Roi Et, and Si Sa Ket remain displaced by the floods.

Pumps have been installed to drain water in flood-hit areas and relief and rescue operations are under way to ease the plight of victims, Mr Chayapol said.

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