By The Nation
Despite the easing of torrential rains in recent days, the Meteorological Department has predicted increased rainfall for the South from Monday to Thursday.
Flooding has causing many deaths and serious damage in southern provinces over the past two weeks. According to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department (DPMD), the natural disaster has affected more than 1.6 million people. The number of flood-related deaths stood at 36 as of press time, with one person also missing.
“Relevant authorities are closely monitoring the situation,” DPMD director-general Chatchai Promlert said yesterday. “We also watch out for possible dangers from landslides.”
Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda, in his capacity as head of the country’s disaster prevention and mitigation, said yesterday that all agencies had already been told to prepare necessary measures.
“It’s necessary to identify risk areas, plan emergency response and prepare rehabilitation beforehand, just in case,” he said.
He pointed out that Central provinces and Bangkok would have to be on alert as they may face impacts from storms tomorrow and Monday.
Anupong said early warnings would be issued via local leaders such as village heads, kamnans and local broadcast towers.
He strongly dismissed criticism that residents of Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Bang Saphan district had faced the worst of flash floods
earlier this week because relevant officials had failed to warn them in advance.
“Warnings have been issued. Flooding has been a common problem in the district too,” he said.
Up to yesterday, more than 7,000 families in Bang Saphan had struggled without tap water for five consecutive days.
Although flooding subsided in the area, they were still unable
to clean damaged houses or
Kiatisak Puengsomsak, head of the Provincial Waterworks Authority’s local branch, said yesterday that some parts of Bang Saphan should be able to get tap-water again.
Officials at Bang Saphan Hospital, which resumed services yesterday, said it had treated more than 100 patients as of press time yesterday. Most people were suffering from athletes’ foot.
In Trang, another flood-hit province further south, many residents remained marooned on the second floor of their homes. Locals in hard-hit areas could only travel around by boats.
Train services from Bangkok to Trang were suspended for almost two weeks because of flooding, but have resumed.
Flights also resumed at Nakhon Si Thammarat International Airport at 6pm yesterday. Passengers have been advised to check with airlines when their flights will depart.