Nationwide floods cause Bt7.7 billion damages

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Floods in Thailand’s northeastern and central provinces have caused nearly eight billion baht in damages and would eat into the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.08 percent, according to the Center for Economic and Business Forecast of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

Center director Thanawat Polvichai said the damage assessment came following the interior ministry’s earlier report that 42 districts in 17 provinces have been hit by floods from October 10 to 19. Nearly 22,000 families – 21,761 households or at least 54,000 people – have been affected, while an estimated 32,428 rai of crops have been destroyed.

From the center assessments of the agricultural sector, there are 89,834 farmers in 11 flood-hit provinces including Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Singburi and Rayong, with about 760,000 rai of rice fields (304,000 acres). In nine provinces, the fisheries industry has been also damaged.

Dr Thanawat said the agricultural sector lost about Bt2.6 billion, counting one-third – 33.8 percent – of the overall value of the country’s agricultural sector.

Floods caused Bt 600 million damages in other production and industrial sectors, and Bt 1.2 billion in the tourism and service industry sectors.

Damages to infrastructure and public utilities cost around Bt 2 billion, while another billion baht was lost in private property, said the center director.

Dr Thanawat said the total damage cost of the widespread floods was around Bt7.7 billion and will affect the country’s economy at 0.08 percent.

Thawatchai Arunyik, deputy governor for domestic marketing of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Thursday said damages to tourism businesses in Nakhon Ratchasima, hardest hit by floods, was around Bt 70 million. Thawatchai said that resorts and hotels have been damaged by the floods and tourists cancelled their reserved rooms. Further assessment will be conducted again once the waters recede.

It will take at least one month to restore confidence and revive the tourism industry in Nakhon Ratchasima, said the TAT deputy governor.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation on Thursday reported 15 deaths from October 10 through 20 as flooding now has hit 21 provinces in the Northeast, North and Central Plains region.

The deaths were reported in eight provinces, with highest number of casualties being four each reported in Lop Buri and Buri Ram provinces followed by three in Nakhon Ratchasima.

One person was missing in Nakhon Ratchasima. (MCOT)