Chiangrai Times – Dr Chatree Charoencheevakul, secretary-general of the Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand, said yesterday that the provinces affected by flooding are Sukhothai, Angthong, Pichit, Ayutthaya, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Uttaradit, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Sawan, Lampang, Lamphun, Suphan Buri, Sa Kaew, Phetchabun and Saraburi, with the first five being the hardest hit.
EMIT has sent medical teams to the areas to evaluate the damage and conduct a survey of medical needs in coordination with local authorities.
So far, more than 11 charity foundations and 20 rescue boats are helping affected residents in Sukhothai. The EMIT has boats and helicopters on standby and can be contacted 24-hours via the 1669 hotline.
Sukhothai’s medical chief Chinorot Leesawat said an initial survey found that 10,000 people in six communities of 2,600 households were affected by the flooding.
Teams of medical doctors and psychiatrists will be sent to Sukhothai and Ayutthaya to provide care to flood victims, Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon said yesterday.
His ministry has ordered hospitals in both provinces to be ready to provide medical assistance to affected residents. Rapid mobile medical units will stand by to provide medical services, while equipment and medication will be kept ready.
The Department of Mental Health will be sending psychiatrists to affected areas to help victims handle stress.
Director general Narong Sahametapat said he has ordered the Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (MCATT) in both provinces to meet up with flood victims. Suanprung Psychiatric Hospital in Chiang Mai will prepare support teams for Sukhothai while Srithanya Hospital will support Ayutthaya.
Meanwhile three districts in Phichit were declared disaster zones yesterday after being submerged.
Phichit Governor Suwit Watcharothayangkul said a number of districts at the confluence of the Nan and Yom Rivers were flooded. Three severely affected districts – Sak Lek, Tap Khlo and Wang Sai Phun – were declared flood disaster zones. The governor said the announcement allows residents of 52 villages to receive rapid assistance from state agencies. Suwit said low-lying areas in the provincial seat are now under a metre of water, fed by forest run-off, affecting 30 homes and damaging thousands of rai of farmland.