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Northern Thailand Being Hit By Unusually Heavy Rains



Thai villagers inspect a damaged truck at the site of a landslide-destroyed village


CHIANGRAI TIMES – The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said the worst affected province is Phichit, where 21 people died in floods caused by rains that have pummelled the upper portion of Thailand.

A total of 78 people were confirmed killed by flash floods and landslides in northern and central Thailand on Friday, while almost 30 businesses were adversely affected by the floods.

The flash floods and mudslides in northern and central provinces of Thailand were caused by heavy rainstorms that have hit about 14 provinces for more than three months.

The monsoon also prevails over the Andaman Sea, Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand, according to the department.

In Uttaradit one villager was reported dead, at least ten were injured, and ten others are missing after their village was hit by early morning forest-runoff and a landslide in this northern Thai province.

The Uttaradit provincial disaster service office urgently mobilised rescue teams and military to reach Nam Pai sub-district in Nam Pad district after being alerted that the forest-runoff and landslide cut off some 300 households from the outside world at around 2am.

Initial reports said one person died in the incident but the victim has not yet been identified. Dozens are injured while ten others are still missing.

The department estimates that about 2,300 square km. of farmland have been hit by floods.

Meanwhile, about 6,700 employees of 27 businesses have had serious problems this week because of the flooding in the provinces, according to Labour Ministry Permanent Secretary Somkiat Chayasriwong.

The official said the ministry’s relief centres in those provinces along river basins in the central region have reported on the number of workers affected by the flooding from Monday to Wednesday this week.

Somkiat said the ministry has already approved house repair loans for 190 workers, worth a total of 9.5 million baht (about US$316,000). He added that the ministry had coordinated the efforts of government agencies in providing them assistance, including the distribution of essential commodities and loans for house repairs.

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