By The Nation
Narathiwat Governor Surapol Prommool declared disaster zones covering two municipalities and 301 villages in 60 tambons in all 13 districts.
The governor ordered the 13 district chiefs to urgently survey the damage and people’s needs so that the provincial administration could urgently provide help to affected people.
Declaring the disaster zone enables the governor to bypass the central government in approving funds and assistance for affected people.
Rains continued in Narathiwat on Wednesday but at reduced levels compared to Tuesday.
The governor also ordered authorities to closely monitor the flood situation in Sungai Kolok, Rangae and Muang districts.
Officials said that in Sungai Kolok, eight communities along the Sungai Kolok River had been affected by floods about one to two metres deep. About 250 people belonging to 40 families were evacuated to shelters at two schools.
In Rangae, the water was about one to 1.5 metres deep, affecting 13,700 people from 2,740 families in 47 villages from seven tambons.
In Muang district, floodwaters were about one metre deep, affecting 24,600 people in 15 communities and 54 villages in seven tambons.
Officials from government agencies were already starting to distribute drinking water and food to affected people on Wednesday.
Meanwhile in Trang, the provincial administration has declared seven districts in the province as disaster zones, saying 30,000 had been affected.
The provincial administration said overnight rains caused the Trang River to overflow to inundate communities and the Na Non-Na Kha bypass road in Tambon Na Tham Nua for a stretch about one kilometre long.
The Trang administration said floodwaters were still rising in Tambon Nong Trud in Muang district.
The Wat Praison School in Tambon Na Ta Luang was closed on Wednesday as floodwaters exceeded one metre deep.
At the Wat Prasitthichai School and Prasitthichai Temple, floodwaters were about 10 to 30 centimetres deep. The school declared classes would be cancelled throughout the week.
Students and teachers helped move school equipment upstairs on Tuesday.
Meanwhile in Surat Thani, Governor Wichasut Jinto issued an urgent warning for residents of all districts to brace themselves for possible flooding with people advised to monitor announcements around the clock.
The Meteorological Department issued a warning on Wednesday that southern provinces and Surat Thani would continue to be hit by rains through the day.
Wichasut said people living near mountains should watch for runoff and mudslides.
The governor also instructed government agencies to monitor speedboats and fishing and passenger vessels affected by the rough seas.
Officials were also instructed to ensure that tourists were prohibited from swimming in the sea.
Local people help two girls wade through deep floodwaters in Songkhla’s Thepa district on Tuesday. One flood-related death has been reported in the area.