One dead, 10 missing in Uttaradit flash flood, landslide

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UTTARADIT, Sept 9 – One villager was reported dead, at least ten were injured, and ten others are missing after their village was hit by early morning forest-runoff and a landslide in this northern Thai province.

The Uttaradit provincial disaster service office urgently mobilised rescue teams and military to reach Nam Pai sub-district in Nam Pad district after being alerted that the forest-runoff and landslide cut off some 300 households from the outside world at around 2am.

Initial reports said one person died in the incident but the victim has not yet been identified. Dozens are injured while ten others are still missing.

Surachai Thatchakawin of the disaster response office said the forest-runoff hit the three villages quickly while the villagers were sleeping. No early warning had been issued. One-storey houses were immediately swept away by torrential water and three roads leading to the villages were heavily damaged.

He said that more than 300 households were left without electricity. The village headman has contacted authorities via cellphone, the only available communication channel.

Urgent rescue operations are under way with portable steel bridge units being brought in to reach the stranded villagers, the official said.

The Department of Meteorological on Friday warned of abundant rain over upper Thailand and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in the Northeast and the East due to the moderate monsoon Sept 9 to12.

Residents of at-risk areas along foothills across the country should beware of flash floods, including Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Yasothon, Surin, Si Sa Ket, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Chanthaburi and Trat. People in lowlands and riversides in the Central and Eastern regions are urged to be alert to the possibility of flooding during the period.