According to the Health System Research Institute, over 36 million rai of land was under water during the devastating flood in 2011. It said 12 million people were affected, 815 died, 5 million became homeless, and 650,000 lost their jobs. The flood caused the nation 1.425 trillion baht in economic loss.
The Institute cited World Bank’s ranking which said the flood was the 4th costliest disaster in history, following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, 1995 Kobe earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Deputy Public Health Minister Dr Surawit Khonsomboon said natural disasters have a tendency to occur more often and people must be prepared and learn from the past disasters.
Dr Surawit said the Public Health Ministry has been adapting its strategies to reach out to the people. It has set up a call center 1667, and given people advice such as how to save people from electrical shocks during flood crisis.
According to the Statistical Office, 51% of the people in flooded areas did not know how to swim, and less than 20% of those who did could swim over 25 meters.