More rain set to batter Northeast

More rain set to batter Northeast

Flood-ravaged Ubon Ratchathani province faces more downpours this week from a monsoon trough that will arrive on Thursday and drench the lower Northeast, eastern seaboard and upper Gulf of Thailand this weekend.

The Thai Meteorological Department on Tuesday said the monsoon trough from Cambodia will hit provinces along the Mekong River, then move down to Chanthaburi, Trat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Ranong and Chumphon provinces.

The weather will hamper flood draining efforts in Ubon Ratchathani.

Water levels in the Moon River have gone down 40 centimetres over the past four days, yet the flood level is still about 3.5 metres high. Most villagers have been evacuated to shelters and told it will be about three weeks or more before the majority of them can return home.

The Office of the National Water Resources' secretary-general Somkiat Prajamwong told reporters that flood agencies need to spend 20 days flushing out 2.1 billion cubic metres of water into the Mekong River.

"If we can speed the draining up, people will be able to go back home within 20 days. The severity of this flood has made us believe that it is a result of climate change, so we need to have better plans to cope with floods like this in future," he said.

Meanwhile, donations to the Ubon Ratchathani flood victims appeal launched on Saturday by actor and volunteer rescue worker Bin Bunluerithit came to 280 million baht as of Tuesday evening.

Some unscrupulous people have reportedly tried to exploit the appeal. On Tuesday, two teenager girls were reportedly found to have created a fake account using a photo of Bin to lure people into donating money to them.

The girls later returned 5,000 baht to Bin's foundation. The actor refused to press charges.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the government will provide about 50 billion baht for rehabilitation efforts.

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