CHIANG RAI – Flooding has prompted temporary closure of some 500 schools across northern, northeastern and central Thailand.
The Ministry of Education Office of the Basic Education Commission reported on Thursday that 582 schools; 484 primary schools and 98 secondary schools in 18 provinces have been affected by flooding since September 23.
Sakchai Bannasan, an elementary education official in Sa Kaeo province, said 27 schools are still closed since the beginning of October despite receding floodwaters.
Students are unable to take mid-term examinations as their schools are now flooded by 50-80 centimetres of water, but they should be able to return to classes next week if there is no more rain.
Nakhon Ratchasima province also reported six schools are now affected by flooding.
Meanwhile Prachin Buri Governor Jitra Promchutima said that about 700 soldiers are helping provincial workers to build a sandbag embankment along the Prachin Buri River to slow further flooding in Kabin Buri district.
The governor said the authorities are trying to rescue the district’s inundated economic area by preventing a new inflow of floodwater from outside and, at the same time, draining floodwaters out of the area.
She estimated that it will take about four days for water pumping operations in the flooded zone.
The rising level of floodwater also hit Prachanthakham Hospital, forcing it to temporarily close its services. A temporary hospital has been set up immediately at the disaster response service office to provide medical treatment for patients.
Seven districts of Prachin Buri are now flooded, affecting 47,682 households and damaging 171,527 rai of farmland. As of Thursday, no one died from flood-related causes.
Disaster-hit provinces include Surin, Si Sa Ket, Chaiyaphum, Prachin Buri, Sara Buri, Nakhonsawan, Pichit, Lop Buri, Ubon Ratchathani, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, Pitsanulok, Phetchabun, Uthai Thani, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima and Sa Kaeo.