Summer storms expected in North, Northeast


BANGKOK, April 22— The Meteorological Department warned of possible summer thunderstorm in Thailand’s northern and northeastern regions in the next two days.

The weather warning issued on Sunday indicated a high pressure system originating from China prevailed over the upper part of the country with hot weather covering Thailand.

The hot weather was forecast to cause summer storms with possible isolated thunderstorms, gusting wind and hail, especially in the Northeast and the North on April 22 through 23.

Residents were warned to beware of severe weather.

Meanwhile, southwesterly winds caused scattered thundershowers over the Andaman Sea and the South.

In a related development, a summer storm struck Buri Ram’s Krasang district, destroying 50 houses in five villages, roadside lampposts, barns and a local child care centre as well as felling trees.

Twelve out of the 50 houses were completely destroyed by the storm, according to Manop Juprakhon, chief of Khokkhamin Subdistrict Administrative Organization. Damage assessment and housing repairs are underway.

Meanwhile, in the northernmost province of Chiang Rai, severe drought continued.

Military personnel of the local Armed Forces Development Command used a backhoe to dredge a waterway in Chiang Saen district to ease the drought problem and expand the water retention area.

So far, the three-month long drought in Chiang Rai has caused damage to about 300,000 rai (over 118,600 acres) of farmland and affected some 140,000 residents.

In Lamphun, relevant officials also used a backhoe to dredge up four major rivers — the Kuang, Lee, Ta and Ping rivers— as well as canals as the province has also been facing drought.

The northeastern province of Mukdahan has also faced drought since March, affecting over 150,000 local people and 56,000 acres of farmland.  Authorities have allocated about one million baht to each of its seven districts after the whole province was declared a disaster zone last month.