Songkhla evacuates seaside residents in Ranot district as high waves pound shore

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SONGKHLA, Dec 26 — Authorities in this provincial seat have evacuated seaside residents in Ranot district as high waves continue pounding the shore, and the governor meets today to evaluate the situation and decide whether to announce six districts along the shoreline as disaster areas.

Governor Kritsada Boonrach inspected a village in Khlong Dan sub-district after 2-3 metre waves smashed into 3 km of shore, forcing some 50 members of 20 households, mostly children and elders, to evacuate for a temporary stay at a nearby temple.

The evacuees could not stay at home and were unable to remove valuables in the rush to leave home.

Provincial authorities distributed relief packages and a medical team has been sent to attend to their health needs.

A two-million baht budget will be allocated to help repair homes damaged by the waves.

The panicked villagers said the strong wind and high waves were the most severe in recent years, and it was also the third time this year.

The governor will chair a meeting of agencies concerned to evaluate the situation and decide whether to name six districts near the shore as disaster zones. Announcing disaster zones entitles emergency funds to be released.

The weather service warned that the ongoing northeast monsoon would cause scattered rainfall and isolated heavy rain in the lower South with waves 2-5 metres high in the Gulf of Thailand. Residents along the coast are warned of high waves. All ships should proceed with caution and small boats keep ashore in the next few days.