PM visits flood-hit Nam Pat district

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UTTARADIT, Sept 11 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday inspected Uttaradit’s severely flood-hit Nam Pat district, where flooding claimed several lives and some are still missing. The prime minister instructed concerned agencies to speed up the search for missing survivors.

The premier’s visit came as four villages in Nam Pat district were struck by forest run-off and a mudslide early Friday, cutting off some 300 households from the outside world, while the residents were sleeping

Seven persons were reportedly missing, carried away by fast-moving forest runoff. Four bodies have already been retrieved, while the search continues for the remaining missing three residents.

After a situation briefing from Uttaradit governor Yothin Samutkiri, the prime minister ordered concerned officials to accelerate the search for the three persons still missing.

Ms Yingluck also instructed provincial authorities to survey damage and propose a compensation plan for Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. She said Army Region 3 which supervises the area will dispatch personnel and equipment to help repair infrastructure and highways which have been hit by the floodwaters.

Before visiting the province, the premier in the morning called a meeting with Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and Defence Minister Gen Yutthsak Sasiprapa, seeking cooperation from the military to deploy its personnel in the flood-hit areas to work with  governors and help restore damaged infrastructure.

Ms Yingluck also said she would follow up progress on a warning system which should work around the clock as the forest-runoff and landslides usually strike villages at night, and consider collected details to revise the flood prevention plan for Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

Meanwhile, Lopburi’s commercial area was struck by floodwater from nearby foothills in the early morning, combined with the accumulation of continued rainfall.

People in three sub-subdistricts in the provincial seat were forced to move their belongings to higher ground, while despite sandbag embankments, shops in the commercials area were unable to prevent the intrusion of floodwaters.

The province has warned its residents to beware of flash flood during the night due to the accumulating rainfall.