PATTAYA -Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has declared Chon Buri, which includes the popular tourist resort of Pattaya, a disaster zone after it was hit by flash floods this week.
Torrential rain and gusty winds hit the Thai resort for many hours on Wednesday night and Thursday, causing damage to property and chaos to road users, local media said on Friday (Sep 18).
The heavy downpour was a result of a tropical storm Vamco which caused two-metre-high waves and high winds in the Gulf of Thailand.
Pattaya Mayor Ittipol Khunpluem said the disaster declaration would help accommodate state relief and assistance to the area despite the fact that most of the flooding had subsided, the Bangkok Post reported on Friday.
The government declared four other provinces – Trat, Chanthaburi, Surin and Si Sa Ket – disaster areas after they were battered by downpours caused by the tropical storm.
Residents living in danger zones have been evacuated and authorities were assisting the flood victims.
Nearly 400 tourists, who were stranded on Koh Lan, were eventually rescued, The Nation reported.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has urged agencies to help affected people, The Nation quoted a government spokesman as saying.
Meteorological officials said the wet weather would likely continue over the next few days.
Tourism in Pattaya is expected to drop by 20 to 30 per cent this weekend due to the heavy rains, according to the Eastern Chapter of the Thai Hotels Association.
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