One child drowns in southern flood

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YALA, Jan 3 – A nine-year old girl reportedly drowned in Yala as heavy rainfall triggered flooding in nine southern provinces, according to Thailand’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.

The child, identified as Sareeta Sa-u, drowned in Yala in a raging river. Homes, schools and government offices have been submerged, affecting over 50,000 people.

Constant rain in the lower southern provinces since Saturday triggered flooding and flash floods in the southern provinces, including Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Phatthalung, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Chumphon.

The disaster agency is working with agencies concerned to provide flat-bottomed boats and other equipment to help evacuate flood victims.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra asked the defence minister to direct the Army to help flood victims in the South, said defence ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Saengsawang Tuesday.

The Fourth Army Region set up 21 flood relief centres in cooperation with other agencies to support flood relief operations.

Personnel, boats, equipment, and mobile medical units have been deployed to flood-stricken areas to evacuate people to temporary shelters and to distribute food, flood relief supplies to affected residents.

In Narathiwat, flood relief supplies, granted by Their Majesties the King and Queen, were distributed to flood victims in Narathiwat’s Ruso district after a flash flood had swept away seven houses. The situation returned to normal and medical teams treated and gave medicine to villagers.

Narathiwat Governor Apinun Suethanuwong on Tuesday visited 163 displaced persons at a temporary shelter in Sungai Kolok district and distributed flood relief supplies.

He then surveyed damage to seek a national government assistance budget and to observe the water level at the Sungai Kolok River at the Huasaphan community where the water level is 1.30 metres.

The governor said that emergency response workers are surveying damage for the data to back up an assistance budget request. It will be completed by next week.

This year’s rainfall is more than that of last year, he said, noting that the province dredged canals to prepare for possible flooding.

The local disaster prevention and mitigation office’s overall damage survey in Narathiwat reports that 63,649 persons have been affected and 98 roads damaged. Sungai Kolok is the hardest hit district.