Ayutthaya braces for flooding in business area; Nakhon Sawan under water

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PHRA NAKHON SI AYUTTHAYA, Sept 13 – Thailand’s central province of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya on Tuesday was preparing for flooding likely to hit the provincial seat while overflowing waters of the Chao Phraya River flooded communities in upriver in Nakhon Sawan.

To prevent floodwater from flowing into Ayutthaya municipality’s business district and transport routes, municipal workers and border patrol police were placing sandbags near the base of the Wat Dusitdaram bridge.

The operation came after overflowing water from the Pasak River flooded the Ayutthaya-Hantra Road and carrying away parts of the bridge and eroding nearby areas Monday night.

In Nakhon Sawan, waters from the Chao Phraya River overflowed into three communities in the provincial seat. About 800 houses and some household belongings were under three-metre-deep floodwaters.

Electricity has been cut off and military personnel from Chiraprawat Army Camp are aiding the flooded communities by flat-bottomed boats.

In Uttaradit, Provincial Public Health Office chief Dr Paisan Thanyawinichkul said three mobile medical units were sent to flood devastated Nam Pat district to treat victims.

Apart from physical illnesses, some residents are facing mental health, stresses and insomnia.

Fifty flood victims are depressed, while 12 others are considered at risk of hurting themselves.

Dr Paisan said medical personnel and psychologists at the site have closely observed patients and given health advice.

So far, about 153,000 flood-related patients have been reported. Most of them suffered from athlete’s foot, common flu and skin diseases, Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri on Tuesday said during his visit to flood-hit Singburi province.

The ministry dispatched mobile medical units to the area to treat patients and monitor possible epidemics as well as giving psychological advice for the patients.

Over a quarter million medical kits have been distributed in 13 flooded provinces.

The flooding continued in 21 provinces and affected some 693,000 residents, according to Interior Permanent Secretary Vichien Chavalit.

Nearly 3.7 million rais (some 1.5 million acres) of crops are estimated to have been destroyed while the traffic on eight highways and 41 rural roads has been disrupted in 14 provinces due to the floods.

Mr Vichien, as director of the emergency operations centre for floods, storms and mudslide, warned residents in seven flood-prone provinces to beware of possible mudslides and forest run-off triggered by heavy incessant rain.

The at-risk provinces included Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Kanchanaburi, Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat.

In a related development, the Cabinet on Tuesday approved an allocation of Bt5,000 (US$166) in financial aid to each household which has been affected by the flooding, according to Government Spokesperson Thitima Chaisaeng.