Northern provinces submerged; one flood-related death


SUKHOTHAI, Aug 3 – Thailand’s northern provinces on Wednesday remained submerged, with one flood-related death reported in Sukhothai.

In the lower northern province of Sukhothai, one flood-related death was reported while the water level in the Yom River has been rising rapidly, forcing residents to evacuate to safer places.

Amnart Tongyoung was killed by an electrical shock while moving his belongings to higher ground without shutting down the electrical system.

Meanwhile, the Yom River has overflowed its banks and flooded at least 20 homes in the provincial seat. The affected residents must evacuate to safer places as they were afraid that the houses may collapse due to the swift-flowing floodwaters.

So far, five Sukhothai districts along the Yom River, including  Si Satchanalai, Sawankhalok, Si Samrong, the provincial seat and Kong Krailat have been affected by floods.

In Lampang’s Ko Kha district, floodwaters are nearly two metres deep, forcing about one thousand families to evacuate. Meanwhile, people living along the Wang River in the provincial seat have been affected by the overflowing torrents.

In Uttaradit, the water in the Nan River as it passes through Tron district, is flowing swiftly and becomes brownish and murky after incessant rains for several days.  Forest run-off flowed into the river and has flooded homes.  In Wangdaeng subdistrict, the biggest commercial basket fish farming area in the North, more than one tonne of fish in the fish farms have suffocated in the murky flood waters and died each day, causing losses to fish farmers.

In Lamphun, overnight rainfall caused the Mae Kuang River to rise past its critical level. Floodwaters now are flooding riverside houses as deep as two metres in seven subdistricts. One road has been cut and the flooding has extended through the commercial business district and silk production areas.

In Mae Hong Son’s Mae Sariang district, water levels in the Yuam and Mae Sariang River have risen rapidly as the rains continue. Landslides have blocked roadways and trees and electric poles have fallen. Provincial workers are clearing the landslide-blocked roads to open them to traffic. In Nakwao village, officials cut power after two high voltage electric poles along the Mae Sariang River fell into the river.

The floods triggered by tropical storm Nock-Ten are affecting 15 northern and northeastern Thai provinces, including Phrae, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Nan, Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Uttaradit, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Phanom, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bung Kan and Sakon Nakhon, according to Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department Director-General Wiboon Sanguanpong.

The disaster response chief said rising waters affected over 40,000 households, damaged 217 homes, destroyed 29,540 rais of crops and damaged roads, dykes, bridges and 474 livestock have drowned.

Initially, the disaster agency offices in the 15 provinces have inspected flood damage and are helping affected residents.