State railways evacuate flood victims to nearby provinces

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BANGKOK, Oct 26 – The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is ready to evacuate about 1,600 flood victims currently sheltering in Bangkok to new temporary shelters in nearby provinces, SRT Governor Yuthana Thapcharoen said on Wednesday.

Being ordered by the government’s Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC) to provide rail service transferring flood evacuees to other provinces, Mr Yuthana said the railroad would move 500 evacuees to Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan, 400 to Saraburi and 700 others to Lop Buri.

The service is set to begin this afternoon by evacuating 400 flood victims from Bangkok’s Hua Mak rail station to the central province of Lop Buri.

To provide necessities for the evacuees, 442 railway stations nationwide will serve as temporary centres for food and relief supply donation, the governor said.

Following shortage of necessities during flooding, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday said the government now seeks to open more consumer product distribution centres in provinces nearby Bangkok to solve the problem.

The prime minister said the centres may be set up in Chon Buri, Ratchaburi and Nakhon Ratchasima as government centres for distribution of essential items as the Don Mueang Airport stores are still insufficient to respond the need of consumers.

The new distribution centres will facilitate the transport of necessities into the central region which has been severely affected by flooding, and also to Bangkok, according to Ms Yingluck.

The premier pledged that problems regarding shortage of essential items should be resolved within one week.

Meanwhile, despite Thailand’s worst flooding in decades, Alexander Feldman, president of the US-ASEAN Business Council, said after meeting with the Thai premier Wednesday that American businessmen are still confident in investing in the kingdom.

Mr Feldman also expressed condolences to the Thai people over the loss and damages caused by the current flooding.