Two dead, seven missing in flash flood, mudslide in Uttaradit

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UTTARADIT, Sept 10 — Two villagers were reported dead and at least seven were missing after four villages in the northern province of Uttaradit were hit by forest run-off and a mudslide, while the flood situation in many provinces is critical and worsening.

The authorities have sent search parties seeking the missing.

The Department of Mineral Resources is dispatching surveyors to conduct an updated reconnaissance of the site hit by flash flood in Nam Phai subdistrict in Nam Pat district as it was not included in the risk map prepared by the department warning of possible landslides.

The department will update the information on risk spots as Nam Phai was not one of the 5,000 villages included in the warning map.

In Phichit, the heavy rain for the whole week pushed the flood situation in critical while the water from forest run-off added the water level in the districts, particularly Bang Phai subdistrict in Bang Mun Nak, where the flood was two metres deep.

A hospital was also hit by the flood, forcing the staff to move medical equipment to set up a temporary medical unit on the road in front of the hospital.

In Phitsanulok, the 3rd Army Area Headquarters distributed the flood relief bags to flood victims in Bang Rakam district where 477 families were affected by flooding for more than one month, some areas with floodwaters three metres deep.

Nineteen schools in the district closed indefinitely, but soldiers repaired a wooden bridge at Bang Rakam School to facilitate students going to school which was expected to reopen next week.

Most schools in Ban Thi in Lamphun were closed until next week.

Flooding in Nakhon Sawan was critical with over two metres of floodwater forcing many villagers to stay in temples. More than 3,000 monkeys at Wat Krieng Krai Klang were affected by the flood as they lacked food.

In Ubon Ratchathani, both the municipality and Warin Chamrap district were hit by flooding, with 1,400 villagers evacuating to higher ground. Soldiers prepared sandbags to make makeshift dykes to hold back floodwaters.

Meanwhile, Panu Yamsri, director of the Administrative Centre for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said the nation’s floods still affected 14 provinces with 72 persons confirmed dead.

Some 174,000 households have been affected and more than 3 million rai of crops were damaged.

The Meteorological Department warned of heavy to very heavy rains over Thailand. The agency said that during Sept 10-12 weekend, an active monsoon trough lies across the Central, the East and Northeast of Thailand. The rather strong southwest monsoon prevails over the Andaman Sea, southern Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand.

Torrential rains and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall are likely over the country.

People in at-risk areas along foothills and waterways should beware of flash flood. These areas include Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit, Phetchabun, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Roi Et, Mukdahan, Yasothon, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Saket, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ranong and Phang-nga provinces.

Resident of lowlands and the riversides in the Central and the East should beware of flooding during this period.

Strong winds are expected and waves in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf of Thailand is likely to reach two to three metres high. Shipping is advised to proceed with caution and small boats should stay ashore for two to three days.