Agencies told to help flood-hit provinces

Agencies told to help flood-hit provinces

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered relief agencies to rush help to five southern provinces hit by severe floods, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Sunday.

A low-pressure cell will cover the Malacca Strait while strong easterly and northeasterly winds prevail across the South and the Gulf of Thailand, the Thai Meteorological Department said on Sunday.

Ms Rachada said Gen Prayut has instructed state agencies to mobilise assistance as a matter of urgency. The authorities were also surveying the damage caused by floods in the five provinces. The Office of the National Water Resources reported heavy floods in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. The floods have ravaged areas in 277 villages across 18 districts in the five provinces.

Ms Rachada said a flood alert has been sounded in the provinces since Tuesday. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has told the Bang Lang dam in Yala to stop discharging water and wait for flood water in the province to be released into the sea before the dam resumes the discharge.

Also, the Royal Irrigation Department has lifted the gates of Klong Munoh in Tak Bai district Narathiwat to expedite the draining of floodwater from surrounding areas. Water in the Bang Nara river is also be pushed out through a series of water gates to make room for floodwater.

Ms Rachada said officials from the provincial office of disaster mitigation and prevention and local administrative organisations as well as military personnel have been handing out relief. They have also installed equipment for producing clean water in Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat. Naval units were also assessing flood situations in Yi-ngo district.

According to authorities, floods may deteriorate in Bannang Sata, Yaha and Raman districts of Yala; Sai Buri, Yarang, Nong Chik and Muang districts of Pattani; and Waeng, Sukhirin, Sri Sakhon, Sungai Padi, Tak Bai, Rueso, Chana and Sungai Kolok of Narathiwat.

Persistent heavy downpours in Narathiwat have sent water overflowing flood walls and inundated villages in Ban Munoh in Sungai Kolok district. Water rose over 1 metre at the worst-hit spots. Several hundred households are affected.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, about 100 houses were partly damaged and a coastline heavily eroded by rainstorms that pummelled seaside areas of Hua Sai, Pak Phanang, Sichon, Tha Sala and Khanom districts. The storms, which sent high waves ashore, began to hit the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand from Thursday.

The road along the coast from Pak Phanang to Hua Sai district was damaged by the waves, which also hit about 100 houses at Pho Thale Ngam village in Hua Sai district. A 500m stretch of the beach at Na Saton village was eroded.

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