35 provinces on flash flood alert due to continued heavy rains

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BANGKOK, Sept 12- Thailand’s centre for the administration of flood situation on Monday warned local residents in river basins in 35 provinces to beware of forest-runoff and flash flooding due to heavy rains today and tomorrow.

Srisombat Pornprasit, deputy director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, as centre director, warned that heavy rain is expected countrywide on Monday and Tuesday.

People living in lowlands along the foothills in 35 provinces were urged to be alert for forest-runoff and mudslides, while those who live along the Chaopraya River and its tributaries should alert to water spilling over the riverbanks and install sandbag protective embankments, Mr Srisombat said.

The 35 provinces at risk include Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit, Phetchabun, Lop Buri, Uthai Thani, Sara buri, Chaiyuphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Keao, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla and Satun.

The director noted people in four southern provinces — Satun, Trang, Songkhla, and Phatthalung, are advised to monitor forest-runoff and mudslides during these two days due to accumulative heavy rainfalls.

Mr Srisombat also reported 82 districts in16 provinces are still under floodwaters, affecting over 217,000 people and damaging 3.6 million rai of crops and 53 highways.

As of today, 82 persons were confirmed dead in the nationwide flooding, the deputy director-general said.

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has instructed the Thai Red Cross, under her royal patronage, to distribute flood relief kits worth Bt35 million and also granted additional personal donation of Bt500,000 to the Thai Red Cross for its flood relief operations in 19 flood-impacted provinces,.

Meanwhile, Minister to Prime Minister’s Office Kritsana Sihalak on Monday said the government has instructed state television NBT to present daily programming informing of the flood situation and warning the public. The information will be reported by the Department of Meteorology and the Royal Irrigation Department.

In the latest development, the fifth body missing during Uttaradit’s Nam Pat landslides since early Friday was retrieved today. Officials continued searching for the remaining two persons, one identified as a five-year-old boy.

Seven persons were reportedly missing when four villages in Nam Pat district were struck by fast-moving forest run-off and a mudslide early Friday, cutting off some 300 households from the outside world.