Storms lash regions as hot Songkran tipped
Winds sink boats, fell trees, wreck homes
Severe summer storms hit several provinces in the Central Plains, and the northeastern and eastern regions, leaving one dead and three injured yesterday.
In Ayutthaya, a tug boat pulling four cargo vessels from Samut Prakan to Ang Thong sank in the Chao Phraya River after a freak storm swept through parts of Bang Pa-in district yesterday morning.
The two people on board were identified as Piyachat Yamboonmee, a 43-year-old boat driver, and Waraporn Jiemcharoenporn, 38, Mr Piyachat's wife.
A rescue team saved Mr Piyachat, who had inhaled water. His wife drowned and her body was retrieved from the river after the team searched the waters for several hours.
Also in Bang Pa-in, a father and his daughter were injured when the van they were travelling in was crushed by a falling electric pole knocked down by the gale on the Outer Ring Road in tambon Chiang Rak Noi.
Pitsanu Chuchuay, 58 and his daughter Sawitree, 23, were admitted to a local hospital with minor wounds after a pole fell on his van as he was driving from Pathum Thani to Ayutthaya.
The storm also caused heavy traffic congestion in Pathum Thani's Sam Khok district and Ayutthaya's Bang Sai and Ban Pa-in districts.
In Pathum Thani, heavy rain brought massive flooding on the Phahon Yothin Road in Khlong Luang district.
The water level rose by 50cm, inundating nearby areas including parts of the Navanakorn Industrial Estate, forcing people to wade through floodwaters.
In northern Phrae province, hailstorms damaged more than 200 houses. Vast swathes of farmland and schools in Nong Muang Khai district were also flooded, though no injuries or deaths were reported.
Many Den Chai district homes were also wrecked, prompting assistance from soldiers.
In Lampang, more than 60 households in Soem Ngam district were lashed by the summer storm.
Soem Sai sub-district municipality distributed more than 500 roof tiles to villagers to repair their damaged homes.
In the eastern province of Rayong, a severe storm battered Pluak Daeng district causing widespread blackouts.
The gusty winds and heavy downpour knocked down a power pole and trees in front of the Tambon Administration Organisation Office, leading to heavy traffic congestion. Officials used a crane to remove the debris from the road.
The Meteorological Department yesterday predicted fewer storms and hotter weather coming up, influenced by a weakening high pressure zone from China.
The department also warned the public of surging heat throughout the Songkran festival next month, with possible temperatures of 44 degrees Celsius in the next two months though the average temperature is forecast between 37-38 degrees Celsius.
The department warned farmers working in fields of the risks of acute dehydration and sunstroke. People who suffer from heat-aggravated diseases are also cautioned to take care during this time.