Floods expected in Phrae, Nan

Floods expected in Phrae, Nan

Thousands of stricken locals seek higher ground

Communities on the Yom and Nan riverbanks in Phrae and Nan were told to brace for floods as water levels in the two main northern rivers rose rapidly due to torrential rain yesterday.

Somkiat Prajamwong, secretary-general of the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) in his capacity as deputy chief of the National Water Command, said heavy rain is hitting the upper North region.

As heavy downpours continued, water in the rivers spilt onto banks in Muang district in Phrae and Wiang Sa district in Nan, he said.

More than 2,000 people from seven villages in Wiang Sa faced inundation. Some have moved their belongings to higher ground, said a source. The average flood water level is 2 metres high, while some two-storey houses in low-terrain areas were completely submerged, the source added. It is also said the floodwater swept away more than one hundred cars and motorcycles, and the flood is the worst in the district in 14 years.

More than 1,000 families in Tha Pla and Muang districts of Uttaradit were also affected by flooding caused by forest run-offs, according to another source, adding the floodwater rose 2 metres high in some locations.

In Sukhothai province, a disaster mitigation and prevention office issued a warning about a huge volume of water running off from Phrae and Nan provinces.

Sri Satchanalai is expected to be the first district to be affected by the flood as it borders Phrae, according to the office.

Yesterday afternoon, flash floods were reported in Sawankhalok district of Sukhothai.

Somkiat Limpaphan, deputy mayor of the Sawankhalok municipality, said it had built embankments from sandbags to prevent the floodwater from reaching the business centre in Sawankhalok. A flood response centre was also set up to assist flood victims around the clock, Mr Somkiat said. Sri Samrong and Muang districts were also warned to prepare for possible flooding especially in low-lying areas.

In Phitsanulok, Chamnan Chuthiang, head of a provincial irrigation project, warned that levels of water in Nan river passing the province would surge by 3-4m until tomorrow. The Meteorological Department yesterday said a northern monsoon will trigger heavy rain today.

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