Drought-hit areas in 3 northeastern provinces declared disaster zones


NAKHON RATCHASIMA, April 3 – Many parts of Thailand’s northeastern provinces are facing severe water shortages, with 17 districts so far declared disaster zones from drought.

Montri Chanachaiwiboonwat, acting director of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Centre Region 5 in Nakhon Ratchasima said today that many locations of the four lower northeastern provinces of Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram and Surin are suffering severe drought, with 17 districts of Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram and Surin declared disaster areas.

He said drought has so far affected 485,228 persons in 173,888 households, and 93,177 rai of farmland has been severely damaged due to the lack of water.

Mr Montri said that despite no districts of Nakhon Ratchasima province being declared drought zones, residents of many areas are suffering critically low water supplies, especially those in the provincial seat as well as Non Sung and Kham Talay So districts. Military personnel have been assigned to help distribute water to local residents.

He said Nakhon Ratchasima’s irrigable areas including some 100,000 rai of farmland for off season rice are still unaffected.

Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Vinai Buapradith, meanwhile, brushed aside concerns over water shortage in the province as there is about 70 per cent of water remaining in five major local reservoirs. Officials have been dispatched to assist people in vulnerable areas in Phimai, Chum Phuang, Bua Yai and Prathai districts.