Pattaya relief group delivers precious supplies to Ayutthaya flood victims

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What was once a quiet little soi in this Ayuthaya hamlet is now a navigateable klong.  Our staff reporters recently tagged along when Securitas Security Services (Thailand) Co. spearheaded a Pattaya relief group voyage to deliver much needed supplies to flood victims there.

Securitas leads mission to Ayutthaya to distribute flood aid

Executives from Securitas Security Services (Thailand) Co. recently delivered 500 bags of disaster-relief supplies to flood victims in Ayutthaya.

A Pattaya Mail reporter joined Accounting Director Rungarun Haanarong, Installation Manager Wuthkrai Jaikon and Sawang Boriboon Foundation Vice President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn in the Oct. 30 journey to the inundated central Thailand province that has been the epicenter of Thailand’s worst flooding in six decades.

What was once a quiet little soi in this Ayuthaya hamlet is now a navigateable klong.  Our staff reporters recently tagged along when Securitas Security Services (Thailand) Co. spearheaded a Pattaya relief group voyage to deliver much needed supplies to flood victims there.  What was once a quiet little soi in this Ayuthaya hamlet is now a navigateable klong.  Our staff reporters recently tagged along when Securitas Security Services (Thailand) Co. spearheaded a Pattaya relief group voyage to deliver much needed supplies to flood victims there.

Securitas Managing Director Steve Graham accepted the responsibility of coordinating flood-relief efforts for Pattaya City Hall, Sawang Boriboon and Bangkok Hospital Pattaya. They jointly funded and gathered donations to purchase consumer goods, antibiotics and other necessities for victims. Among the purchases were two 19-foot speedboats for Sawang Boriboon rescuers to use.

During the journey northward, Rungarun said the relief bags were jointly packed by officials and employees from Securitas. About 250,000 baht has been spent to fill 1,000 bags, with half distributed on that trip.

Save the water buffalos!Save the water buffalos!

He said the remaining 500 bags will be packed and presented to Sawang Boriboon to be sent to Rong Klua Market in Bangkok. Sawang Boriboon’s Sinchai Wattana- sartsathorn will lead that journey.

Heading into the disaster zone, determination was easily visible on the group members’ faces as they put aside trouble with the conditions and heat to distribute the relief supplies. Twenty people had traveled from Securitas’ North Pattaya office. That tolls had been suspended during that time made the journey easier, as did the light traffic.

But entering Bangkok, the highway was cluttered by cars parked above the waterline to avoid flood damage. Entering the Bangkok-Ayutthaya Highway, flood damage and standing water became evident, slowing the truck’s progress.

A quiet paddle up Asia Road - Lifestyles of the residents have completely changed because of the flood.A quiet paddle up Asia Road – Lifestyles of the residents have completely changed because of the flood.

Finally, the relief group reached Rong Klua Market at the Nava Nakorn-Phrainth Dam, where a evacuation center had been established. Lunch was served for officials and employees of Securitas Company and the relief bags were loaded for distribution. After eating, the group set off on Route 32, traveling 12 kilometers from the disaster’s center.

The goods were transferred onto boats that Securitas had sponsored, as well as three foundation boats. They were still necessary; although the water has receded some, it’s still too deep to drive through.

The Pattaya group distributes relief packages to households in the Klongjit community.The Pattaya group distributes relief packages to households in the Klongjit community.

As the convoy moved 500 meters into the heart of the disaster zone, it became apparent how much the water has dropped. In some areas it was now only knee-deep. Residents grateful to receive help said they were not happy at the slow pace of the water level’s decline, which has dropped only about 15 cm. since Oct. 11. Some areas still have water four meters deep.

The boats resumed and group members called on citizens to come and accept the aid. Those who could rowed out in boats. Others remained camped out on rooftops with their pet dogs. Wild soi dogs took shelter in old cars, trees and temples.

The group, with bags and medicine, then reached the Klongjit School Relief Center, whose two buildings were filled with about 100 refugees, all of whom received aid.

More bags were handed out to monks at Wiwekwawayupad Temple, where the group gave the 26 monks 44 bags to be further distributed to neighbors in need.

The mission moved on as far as the boats and supplies could take them.

Group members said they were comforted that most residents were still in good health, despite the conditions. It didn’t eliminate the fatigue of the team, but it motivated them to return soon for another relief mission.

A quick lunch at the relief center before beginning the task of delivering aid to flood victims.A quick lunch at the relief center before beginning the task of delivering aid to flood victims.

The crew unloads the boat at the entrance to a flood ravaged community in Klongjit, Bangpa-in.The crew unloads the boat at the entrance to a flood ravaged community in Klongjit, Bangpa-in.

Although the waters are receding somewhat, it’s still too slow to offer any hope of a quick solution.Although the waters are receding somewhat, it’s still too slow to offer any hope of a quick solution.

Residents hear the boats and climb out onto their roofs to great them.Residents hear the boats and climb out onto their roofs to great them.

Some of the folks in Ayuthaya who were unable, or perhaps declined to evacuate, are now living on their roofs to escape the flood waters. Some of the folks in Ayuthaya who were unable, or perhaps declined to evacuate, are now living on their roofs to escape the flood waters.

Commerce continues: Vendors who not long ago sold food from push carts are now selling from old wooden boats, filling a need in the community.Commerce continues: Vendors who not long ago sold food from push carts are now selling from old wooden boats, filling a need in the community.

Those lucky enough to have even small boats can come out to greet the rescue workers.  Others need to wait and hope they aren’t forgotten.Those lucky enough to have even small boats can come out to greet the rescue workers.  Others need to wait and hope they aren’t forgotten.

Victims wade through chest deep water to receive aid packages from the Pattaya crew.Victims wade through chest deep water to receive aid packages from the Pattaya crew.