Storm hits North, Southeast; one killed in Chonburi

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BANGKOK, May 16 – Some northern provinces were hit by heavy downpours and gusty winds and a woman was killed in Chonburi, southeast of Bangkok.

Wilai Kuwentai,  65, was killed in her sleep as a large tree branch hit her head. Her husband, Sawai, 62, was also injured as the branch hit his legs.

The Meteorological Department northern office in Chiang Mai warned of storms and strong winds through the week.

Khomsan Suwanampha of the northern disaster response office worked with the Chiang Mai municipality surveying damage from Tuesday night’s heavy rain to help affected residents.  Large trees and billboards were toppled, damaging homes and vehicles.

In Mae Hong Son’s Pai district, a summer storm damaged houses and crops. Damage has not been assessed, and roads remain blocked by felled trees, but civil servants and villagers are working to clear the way to open the roads to traffic

The weather department warned of heavy rainfall and potential flash floods across much of the country.

A high pressure ridge covers Thailand’s upper Northeast, and a moderate southwest monsoon prevails over the Andaman Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and on land, nationwide.

The weather system carries more rainfall over Thailand with isolated heavy to very heavy rain in the North, the Northeast, the East and the Southwest coast.

Today through Friday residents in normally at risk areas should beware of possible flooding.

Winds are strong, and waves in the Andaman Sea are at a 2-metre level, with warnings to shipping to proceed with caution during the period.

Surachai Thatkawin, an official of a disaster prevention and mitigation in Uttaradit, coordinated with local authorities and the Army to deploy about 100 personnel to help repair more than 500 homes in Laplae and Phichai districts.

Hundreds of homes were damaged by a summer storm.

The province declared the two districts disaster zones to speed up additional help as soon as possible.

In addition to homes, a number of orchards were also destroyed by the storm. Residents in at risk areas were warned to brace for possible mudslide as the rainy season is about to start.

Laplae district was hit by mudslides in 2006.