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Pattaya Daily News

28 March 2011 :: 10:03:50 am 52156

Flood, mudslides battering southern provinces

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, March 27 - Floods in Thailand’s southern provinces are reaching critical proportions with mudslides, triggered by heavy rain occurring in several areas and forcing Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport to close indefinitely due to flooding.
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Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport has been flooded with two kilometers of runways under 50 centimetres of water. The airport is closed indefinitely until the situation returns to normal.

Nisit Sombat, the airport director, said since the airport’s opening, this is the first time it has been forced to close due to flooding. The airport’s entrances are under a one-metre flood and after the water recedes, a team of engineers will conduct a survey to check the safety of the runways and related electrical signal system.

Moreover, Thasala hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat has been severely flooded–as deep as two metres in some areas–forcing it to suspend services and relocate inpatients to a nearby hospital.

The flooding has extended to cover almost the entire province and some houses are completely inundated and cut off from the outside world. The cost of damages is estimated to be at least 300 million baht.

A 68-year-old man was swept away in the flood in Phipun district. His was the fourth death reported in the province.

In Surat Thani’s Kanchanadit, a bridge was damaged by the forest run-off, leaving 200 households stranded.

In Tha Chana district, flooding is two metres deep and Surat Thani-Nakhon Si Thammarat has also been flooded, so small vehicles cannot pass.

In Chumphon, mudslides damaged houses and scores of motorcycles in Lang Suan district. A bridge crossing the Lang Suan River was destroyed and closed to traffic indefinitely. About 10,000 villagers are forced to use detours to reach the provincial seat.

In Trang’s Huai Yot district, dirt and rocks from the Bantad mountain range fell on five houses but no one was reported injured or killed in the incident.

A road accessing a village was inundated about two metres deep due to incessant rains, with flooding extended to the provincial seat.

In Ranong, the Phetkasem bypass road to Phuket and Phang-nga was damaged by flooded. Small vehicles can use a secondary road but it is impassable for large vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister ordered urgent assistance to flood victims and he said the government will allocate more budget to the affected provinces if their reserves are not adequate. PM’s Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey distributed relief supplies to people affected by flood in Nakhon Si Thammarat and will report the situation to the Cabinet on Monday, pushing it forward as the national agenda.

Report by : MCOT online news

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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