14 Thai provinces hit by floods; one person dies

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PHICHIT, Aug 2 – Fourteen provinces in Thailand’s North and Northeast have been hit by floods triggered by tropical storm Nock-Ten, and one flood-related death was reported in the northeastern province of Udon Thani.

Saklek Kamjai, a disaster response official in Phichit, said the northern province is located on lowland and the Yom River was swollen and spilled into many areas in Samngam and Pho Prathap Chang districts. The province declared the two districts disaster zones.

Local residents living in the basins of the Yom and Nan rivers to move their belongings and animals to higher ground as the Nan River is rising and is about to flood riverside areas.

In Lampang, the Wang River overflowed its banks flooding more than 100 buildings in the municipality for the second day on Tuesday. Five communities have been under one to two metres of water, according to Lampang municipality Deputy Mayor Surapol Tansuwan.

As the rains continue, the water level of the Wang River has rapidly risen due to added waterflow released from the Kiu Lom dam and forest run-off.

In Lamphun, about 1,350 homes in the foothills in Mae Tha district and near the Mae Tha River in Muang, Mae Tha and Pa Sang district have been affected by flooding. About 5,000 rais (2,000 acres) of farmland are under one metre of water, said Chumpon Intathep, disaster prevention and mitigation officer.

Villagers moved their belongings to higher ground and some sections of roadway were eroded by flooding.

In Phrae, all eight districts have been affected by flood as the provincial seat has been hard-hit by flood as deep as two metres in some areas. The Yom River has risen to 10.16 metres.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Director General Vibul Sanguanpong said the agency reported flooding in 14 northern and northeastern provinces Tuesday, including Phrae, Chiang Mai, Nan, Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Uttaradit, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Phanom, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Sakon Nakhon and Bung Kan.

One flood-related death was reported in Udon Thani.

The department issued flood and mudslide warnings for local residents in foothills near waterways to brace for flash floods and mudslides Aug 2-3.

The upper Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea are likely to experience strong winds. Small boats are advised to stay ashore.

Meanwhile, northern train services were suspended due to tropical storm Nock-Ten connected floods, said Nuananong Wongchan, public relations head of the State Railway of Thailand.

Incessant rains triggered floods elsewhere, prompting railway officials to cancel four Bangkok-Chiang Mai trains – two special express trains, an express train, and an express diesel train due to leave Bangkok Tuesday evening.

A Bangkok-Chiang Mai free rapid train scheduled to leave Bangkok at 2.30pm will run as far as Den Chai station in Phrae, but there is no forward transportation offered to passengers to provinces further north.

Passengers holding purchased tickets on any line can refund their tickets at full price.