Yom River basin floods may last until November

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PHITSANULOK, Sept 1 – The flood situation in many Thai provinces remain critical as in hard-hit Phitsanulok where water levels are expected to return to normal in November.

The waters of the Yom River are still higher than normal but stable. Three of Phitsanulok’s nine districts – Prom Phiram, Bang Rakam and the provincial seat – have been inundated, with floodwaters as deep as three metres in some areas. Several villages remain flooded, cut off from the outside world, but local authorities have distributed food, drinking water and other relief supplies to flood victims.

Phrom Phiram district chief Praphan Junchum said it is the worst flood since 1995 and that it may continue until November. Up to 100,000 rai (40,000 acres) of crops have been destroyed.

Phrom Phiram is in the Yom River basin which was impacted by tropical storm Haima in late June and tropical storm Nock-Ten in early August. Some roads have been washed out.

Mr Praphan said that about 10,000 households in Phrom Phiram district have been affected. Some 35 per cent or 121,719 rais of paddy fields have been flooded with damage of around Bt72 million (US$2.4 million). About 180 roads were damaged.

Losses at fish farms cost some Bt14 million (over $460,000), but government and the private sector have provided initial assistance.

Phichit’s business zone in Pho Prathap Chang district’s market is under a one metre flood. Sellers have moved their goods to higher areas on roadsides and one traffic lane has been closed, and the government centre is also under water.

In Angthong, flooding has worsened as the waters of the Chao Phraya River have risen and flooded low-lying areas in the provincial seat.

Local residents have to move their belonging to higher ground.

In the hardest hit district of Pa Mok, commercial frog farmers asked traders to buy their frogs before they drowned as the ponds were being hit by the floods.