Hot weather, drought affect many provinces


KALASIN, April 24 —  Hot weather and drought have affected many provinces in Thailand, damaging agricultural areas while the Lam Pao Dam in this northeastern province will stop discharging water on Saturday.

Villagers in Pha Sawoei subdistrict of Somdet district here, on higher ground at the foot of the Phu Phan mountain range, have been severely hit by drought.

They must walk more than one kilometre for drinking water and when they get there the queue is very long.

The Lam Pao Dam now contains only 17 per cent — 358 million cubic metres — of its capacity, so the dam has to stop releasing water Saturday.

In the northern province of Lamphun, water shortage has affected longan orchards, with many trees already dead from the lack of water.

Some orchards are cutting down all their longan trees as they have died.

Water resources in four districts–Bang Hong, Mae Tha, Wiang Nong Long and the provincial seat–have entirely dried out.

It is now expected that longan production this year will drop after produce more than 170,000 tonnes last year.

The drought has also led to a shortage of limes in the market.  In the eastern seaboard province of Chon Buri’s Si Racha district, one large size lime price have risen to Bt18 and the fruit is scarce.

Many consumers have opted to buy limes from Cambodia, which are cheaper but having less juice. 

Chanthaburi lime sellers say that lime prices this year are at the highest level in 20 years.

Thousand of local residents and tourists in the north have flocked to Chiang Rai’s Kok River beach to cool down due to the hot weather.