200 construction workers see housing camp destroyed by storm

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More than 200 poor construction workers living in makeshift shacks became the first victims of last week’s violent rainstorms as their Nong Plalai camp was washed away when a nearby canal overflowed.

Huts made of thin wood and zinc sheets for roofs were torn apart about 1:45 a.m. Sept. 15 and raging floodwaters from the Mapbhon Canal, a tributary of the Naklua Canal, surged through the area, gouging out a section of earth and carrying away many of the workers’ few belongings.

Workers begin trying to dig out from their flood ravages homes.

When dawn arrived, workers returned to Soi Chanpen from their emergency shelter to recover what they could of their lives. Ironically, what they found were broken pieces of a Buddhist shrine that had been erected to “protect” the camp.

Downstream from the runoff workers found garbage and personal items floating in a basin where storm water had collected. They fished out what they could while a local noodle vendor, Suwan Pranee, 44, generously gave them free soup.

Suwan Pranee generously dishes out free soup for the hungry flood victims.

Somsak Songmuang, a contractor for ASVT Group, said a number of dormitories were completely destroyed while others damaged. He told the workers to move and find a place to stay temporarily for their safety until the storm moved out last weekend.

Residents said the Mapbhon Canal overflows badly about every four years.