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Heavy Rains Causing Flooding and Landslides in Northern Thailand



Homes along the Thai-Myanmar and the Thai-Lao border have been under deep floodwater, while farmlands have been damaged.


CHIANG RAI – Several areas throughout Northern Thailand have been inundated, caused by continual downpours since last week, affecting locals, including those living in border areas, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

In Mae Fah Luang district of Chiang Rai province, a landslide has also blocked the Saen Muang Go Lao-liew route, causing all types of vehicles to have been impassable, affecting more than 20 villages of hill tribes people in the area.

Officials said on Monday that houses along the Thai-Myanmar and the Thai-Lao border, for instance, have been under deep floodwater, while farmlands have been damaged.

The flooding situation in the Thai North is also critical, as a five-kilometre-road leading to the Nam Pan Village of Song Kwae district in Nan province, for instance, has been completely blocked by landslides caused by heavy downpours, while flash flood has also fallen two power poles, affecting over 50 households in the area. Another landslide has also blocked the Sai Pua-Bo Klua Road leading to the Phu Ka National Park.

Water levels at two canals in Mae Sot district bordering Myanmar in Thailand’s northwestern Tak province have overflowed banks, inundating local villagers’ houses and damaging their farmlands.

The situation has become deteriorated after a massive water runoff, causing water levels of the Moei River, marking the border between Thailand and Myanmar, to have risen over seven metres and overflowed its banks.

According to the officials, houses on both sides of the Moei River have remained under deep floodwater, while cross-border trading has been disrupted.

Updated reports said on Monday afternoon that the flooding in Mae Sot has become more severe, especially in the municipal area, where small vehicles have been impassable, cutting affected locals from the outside world.

In Sangkhla Buri district, also bordering Myanmar, in Thailand’s western Kanchanaburi province, the Songalia wooden bridge, connecting the district with the adjacent Three Pagoda Pass, has been damaged for about 30 metres in length.

Although the water levels have been receding, the water currents remain strong and people cannot travel between the two points. The provincial governor has, thus, warned officials of other districts to stay alert for possible flooding.

Heavy downpours since last week have also caused water levels of the Mekong River, which passes through Nakhon Phanom province bordering Laos, to increase sharply. People living near local flood-prone areas have been told by officials to be prepared for possible flooding if water overflows the river banks.

Local officials reports that the situation in nearby Sakon Nakhon province has also remained critical, as low lying areas and farmlands have been under floodwater, acknowledging that about 1,000 rai of local ricefields (2.5 rai=1 acre) could have been damaged, while several animal raisers have faced a shortage of feedstuff and villagers have been told to be ready for evacuation and to move their valuable assets to higher grounds.

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