Phitsanulok hard hit by flooding; warning issued for 40 provinces this week


PHITSANULOK, Aug 17 – Flooding in the lower northern province of Phitsanulok is still critical while the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation issued a warning for possible flash floods and landslides in the North, the Northeast and the East this week.

In Phitsanulok, villagers moved their household belongings to higher ground after heavy rain caused the Yom River to overflow its banks by some two metres.

Nine schools were forced to close indefinitely after being flooded, and many roads are under water. Parts of the provincial seat, Phrom Phiram and Bang Rakam districts were hard hit, with residents evacuating their flooded homes.

The disaster response department warned of possible flash floods and landslides Aug 17-21 in the foothills, low-lying areas and areas near waterways in 40 provinces in the North, Northeast and East, Director-General Viboon Sanguanpong said.

The department concluded the floods on Wednesday affected 3,178,695 people in 27 provinces.

Some 320 homes were damaged and 1,838,000 rais (some 735,000 acres) of crops were destroyed, while 5,256 roads have been damaged. Twenty-nine deaths were reported in ten provinces and one person went missing in a landslide in Mae Hong Son.

Flooding continues in 12 provinces, affecting some 215,000 people and has eased in 15 provinces, including Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Phichit, Phisanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Nayok, Ayutthaya, Mukdaharn, Roi Et, Kalasin and Ubon Ratchathani.

Relief supplies were distributed to flood victims, and drinking water trucks, flat-bottomed boats and machines were sent to flood-stricken areas. Government emergency workers have surveyed the damage to determine what further assistance can be issued under Ministry of Finance regulations.