Flooded hospital has plan for patients

Flooded hospital has plan for patients

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Flood-stricken Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima, the largest hospital in this northeastern province, plans to transfer its patients to other facilities nearby if its main operations become unworkable.

The hospital was flooded yesterday morning after Lam Takhon canal overflowed.

On Wednesday, public health secretary-general Kiattiphum Wongrajit said he had ordered the public health inspector-general supervising the area to assess the impact of the flooding on key facilities including the hospital.

The water logging the front and rear grounds of the hospital had reached 50-60 centimetres by mid-morning, meaning small vehicles were unable to enter or leave the compound. The intersection in front of the hospital was under 80-90cm of water.

People seeking medical services had to wade through deep water to reach hospital buildings.

Dr Kiattiphum said the hospital has erected an embankment of sandbags around key facilities and was pumping out water while moving equipment and its stockpile of medicine to higher ground.

If the flood cripples the hospital's main operations, staff will transfer in-patients to nearby hospitals for treatment, according to the public health permanent secretary.

Provincial governor Wichian Chantaranothai arrived at the hospital yesterday morning to oversee the drainage operation.

The provincial administrative organisation was asked to build temporary raised walkways from all gates to hospital buildings.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lam Takhong canal, which runs from Lam Takhong dam in Si Khiu district, burst its banks with water rushing into communities along both sides and into Nakhon Ratchasima city, wreaking widespread havoc.

Mr Wichian said he believed the situation would return to normal in two to three days, provided there was no more rain. He said Lam Takhong dam had stopped discharging water downstream.

In total, floods have killed 12 people and affected 12 districts in Nakhon Ratchasima including the downtown Muang district. The provincial authorities have set up 15 emergency shelters for displaced residents.

In Bangkok, City Hall issued a flood warning to 239 families living outside the floodwalls along the Chao Phraya River, warning them to take precautions.

The overflowing river has flooded parts of the iconic Wat Arun Ratchawararam, or Temple of the Dawn, according to Kittipan Pansuwan, deputy culture permanent secretary.

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