Stranded villagers rescued from flooded homes

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Elderly woman and 7-day old baby rescued in the nick of time

Heavy rain has caused Klong Pai Lake to overflow, ripping up roads and causing streams of floods through the communities of Huay Yai

In the early hours of the 17th of September, updates on the damage caused by tropical storm Vamco showed the true extent of the damage it havocked the night before.

Local authorities, police and soldiers joined volunteers from the Sawang Boriboon Rescue Team set out on a mission by boats to rescue as many villagers as possible. They found more than 40 homes in Baan Rongnamtan Kao were under waist-high water.

More than 20 residents were trapped in their homes, including a 7 day-old infant who was with her 72 year-old grandmother Mrs. Surin Petchkaew. On being rescued the shaken but relieved woman told authorities that as she was taking care of her new grandchild in her home, the waters gushed through in. “Everything happened so fast that I had no time to think or even escape” she lamented. “So I grabbed the baby and held her close to my breast high above the water to keep her safe.” It was more than 3 hours later that the rescuers reached her and pulled the elderly woman and the infant to safety.

Fortunately there have been no reports of any injuries or loss of life and all villagers stranded in their homes have been rescued.

Other than villages being flooded, a large sinkhole was caused near a bridge that leads out to Highway 331, approximately 500 meters from the Huay Yai Police Station. The rushing waters tore away a section of the road causing a passing car to fall into the huge crevice. Despite desperate attempts to pull the car out, the force of nature was too strong and sucked the car away into the torrent. Fortunately the driver of the vehicle was pulled to safety just in time. Authorities have warned residents to avoid this route.

Mr. Chakorn Kanchanawatta, Banglamung district chief said that Vamco has massively affected Nongprue, Huay Yai, Takian Tia and Pattaya. Luckily there have been no reports of casualties or major injuries so far.

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