PM orders measures to cope with floods, storms threaten Thailand


BANGKOK, Sept 26 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered short-term measures to resolve flood problems across the country as the National Disaster Warning Centre warned of likely heavy rain in the Northeast as two tropical storms approach the region.

Ms Yingluck was briefed on latest flood situation Monday by disaster centres in Ubon Ratchathani, Uthai Thani and Ang Thong provinces via a video conference.

Permanent Secretary for Interior Vichien Chavalit reported to the prime minister that the Meteorological Department is continuing its monitoring of the quantity of rainfall for the next few days particularly in the eastern region.

Nationally water volume is stable except for the Chao Phraya River in Nakhon Sawan and in the Mun and Chee rivers in Ubon Ratchathani, where volume is likely to increase.

Ms Yingluck ordered all provinces to plan short-term flood prevention to be reported to her this week. She advised local authorities to work with the irrigation department to oversee the tide, the water level in the Chao Phraya River, and the amount of rain.

Floodwater from the Lopburi River overflowed into the business area in Lopburi’s provincial seat.

Schools, temples and houses were surrounded by the fast-rising waters. Local residents failed to move their belongings to higher ground soon enough and many children, the elderly, and confined patients are stranded in their homes.

Local residents have moved to stay on higher ground on roads, which are often higher than surrounding areas. The main road connecting the province to the capital is under water and impassable.

In Prachinburi’s Si Maha Phot district, flooding has spread, and continued for about two months.

Local authorities said the case of a 70-year-old man living in difficulty with his wife and a handicapped niece exemplified the challenges affecting those who are stranded and isolated from the wider community.

The National Disaster Warning Centre warned of heavy rain in Thailand’s Northeast as tropical storm Haitang, centred in the upper South China Sea will make a landfall in Vietnam on Tuesday.

It also warned of flash floods and mudslides if typhoon Nesat, centred in the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines moves to Thailand in three to four days.