Army leads flood-relief effort in inundated Huay Yai

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With skies clearing and streets drying, military and government officials mobilized throughout Pattaya to come to the aid of Pattaya’s many victims of tropical depression Vamco and the ensuing flooding.

Maj. Gen. Suradej Prakaneri, commander of the 1st Army Support Command accompanied Chakorn Kanjawattana, Rewat Phonlookin, deputy chief of the Chonburi Administrative Organization, Huay Yai Mayor Pairat Trisirichoke, former MPs, area administrators, soldiers and volunteers to visit an area behind an old sugar factory in Moo 11 village in Huay Yai where a large number of victims were found.

A large sinkhole developed near a bridge leading out to Highway 331, approximately 500 meters from the Huay Yai Police Station.A large sinkhole developed near a bridge leading out to Highway 331, approximately 500 meters from the Huay Yai Police Station.

The delegation of 200 inspected the area around the Bang Pai Canal bridge, which connects Banglamung District and Ban Chang in Rayong. It found that five meters of the bridge on the Ban Chang side had collapsed.

Meanwhile, Huay Yai Sub-district opened a flood-relief operations center close to the bridge with the cooperation of military doctors and nurses from Yansangwararam Temple to provide help for sick people.

Moreover, the officers from the 1st Army Support Command set up a field kitchen to make food for flood victims. Many people and private organizations also donated drinking water, rice, dried food, clothes, and necessaries to the center.

Behind the factory there were more than 40 houses inundated on Sept. 17. Most of the villagers, including children, escaped to their roofs and rescue teams took everyone out safely by boat.

Once the waters receded, many people returned to their property, with only a single car reported missing. It was thought to have been swept into the canal.

Teachers and students from Thai-Austrian Technical College arranged to offer free repairs for electrical appliances at the operations center.

Officials also surveyed the Khlong Bang Pai Reservoir, which residents had feared had burst. However, an inspection found its banks remained intact.

Prakaneri said the army’s immediate relief effort focused on transport, relocation of personal property, clearing damage and providing food, water and medicine.

He said the military would seek help from private firms to bring in machinery to fix roads and complete long-term repairs when additional government funding becomes available.