Disaster dept gauges storm aftermath
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation is going to survey the damage caused by a tropical storm that hit seven provinces over the weekend.
Communities in 117 villages in 21 districts in seven provinces -- Phayao, Nan and Lamphun in the North and Bung Kan, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast were hammered by wind and rain from the storm which blew in from China.
Monton Sudprasert, head of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said 764 houses were reported to be in need of repair.
"However, the storm has now subsided so further damage is not expected," Mr Monton said.
The Thai Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rain and storms in the upper area of Thailand until the middle of the week.
Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda said that he has ordered local officials to survey the areas and arrange relief and assistance measures.
He said that personnel and equipment should be arriving in the affected communities very soon and advised residents and communities to keep a close eye on the weather forecast over the coming days.
In another development, residents and visitors to a beach area in Krabi province were reported to have witnessed two giant waterspouts yesterday morning.
Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado and are associated with severe thunderstorms.
Cheevanond Puangladda, manager of a hotel at Ao Nang beach in Muang district of Krabi province, said the waterspouts were spotted somewhere between Koh Podah and Moo Koh Phi Phi.
"People managed to record the phenomena before they disintegrated after about five minutes. It is such a rare occurrence," said Ms Cheevanond.