Floods nationwide claim 212 lives

Tuesday, 04 October 2011 By  MCOT

BANGKOK, Oct 3 - Thailand's flood-related death toll rose to 212 on Monday, with two persons still missing as flooding from continued heavy rain remains in 25 provinces.

Permanent Secretary for Interior Pranai Suwannarat, in his capacity as a director of the 24/7 Emergency Operation Centre for Flood, Storm and Landslide, reported as of today that 179 districts of 25 provinces in the country’s northern, central and northeastern regions have been hit by floods, affecting nearly 2.5 million people and damaging more than 7.5 million rai of crops, and 123 roads and highways.

While 2,420,868 people have been impacted by the worst flooding in many years, the death toll climbed to 212, with two still missing, Mr Pranai said.

As heavy overnight rains caused land and rock slides to block roads in the northern province of Lampang, Lampang mayor Paitoon Phothong confirmed an 88-year-old man in the provincial seat was drowned after being swept away by torrential forest runoff while sleeping at night.

A 65-year-old man remains missing, swept away while trying to cross a road. A rescue team is searching for him, Mr Paitoon said.

The mayor also reported 700 households in three subdistricts were affected by the overnight forest runoff.

The director of the 24/7 Emergency Operation Centre for Flood, Storm and Landslide warned people in provinces in the North and Northeast to beware of heavy rains as a result of tropical storm Nalgae Oct 6 to 8 after it makes its landfall in Vietnam Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Deputy Governor Pornthep Techapaiboon on Monday assured the public that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) can handle the increasing amounts of water from the northern part of the country, as well as the continued heavy rains in the capital.

Mr Pornthep said the area of greatest concern is in eastern Bangkok adjacent to Pathum Thani province, which has already been flooded.

Two districts of Bangkok, Bang Kae and Minburi, have been declared disaster zones, he said, urging Bangkokians to stay calm as the municipality can control the situation.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she would make a video conference call with Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra on Tuesday to follow up the BMA's readiness to cope with possible flooding.

Ms Yingluck met today Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi officials to review the overall situation in the nearby provinces of Bangkok and believes the flood can be handled.

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