By THE NATION
“The King has been monitoring the flood situation,” Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday during his trip to Sakon Nakhon province, which has borne the brunt of raging floods.
At present, floodwaters have hit 10 provinces, most of them in the Northeast. Flood-related fatalities stood at 23, according to the latest update from the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.
Prayut said the King had urged authorities to improve the flood situation fast and introduce sustainable solutions.
The King has sent relief items to flood victims in Sakon Nakhon, and also had a kitchen erected in the province to hand out free food to affected people.
The King also recommended that the government inspect reservoirs to ensure they were well maintained.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha joins the “Big Cleaning Day” in Sakon Nakhon province’s Muang district yesterday. The province was the hardest hit by recent floods in the Northeast.
Recently, a dyke reportedly burst in Sakon Nakhon, releasing millions of cubic metres of water.
PM’s Office Minister Ormsin Chivapruck yesterday said the government would organise a televised charity event this Friday to raise funds for flood victims.
The event will be held at Government House from 6pm to 7.30pm with Prayut and Cabinet members answering phone calls from donors.
Kitticharn Jan-aram, a volunteer from Khon Kaen province, yesterday brought his jet ski to Roi Et province to help deliver basic necessities to people marooned by floodwaters.
“Trucks can’t reach some heavily-flooded areas, but jet skis can,” he said.
In Nakhon Ratchasima province, Pratai district chief Amnuay Pongnan said floodwaters had spread.
“More than 700 families are affected. Some 15,000 rai [2,400 hectares] of paddy fields is under floodwater. More than 4,000 ducks and chickens have been killed. Some 3,000 buffaloes, cows and oxen are now starving,” he said.
In Nakhon Phanom province, officials have installed three more large pumps to speed up water flow to the Mekong River. The province needs to urgently drain water or the area will be heavily flooded when run-off from Sakon Nakhon arrives from upstream. In Maha Sarakham province, people were yesterday busy building sandbag walls along the Chi River as overflowing waterways had already caused floods in several areas.