CHIANG RAI – A Chiang Rai sub-district has been declared a disaster zone after a landslide triggered by heavy rains swept away a house and forced neighboring homes to be evacuated as a precaution in Amphoe Thoeng, in the eastern part of Chiang Rai, Province.
No one was injured when a 5 story-concrete house in village of Moo Fah Thai, collapsed in the daytime landslide, according to Thai Media.
Investigators say the collapse of the building was triggered by under ground water flows, created by heavy rains for over the last 7 days. In the past 3 days alone rainfall in the area has been up to 99mm per day.
There are also 3-4 neighboring houses and commercial buildings at the risk of collapse, as well as a two-storey tourist center about 10 meters away from the main landslide area.
After the incident, the province declared the area as a landslide disaster area under the Emergency and Disaster Mitigation Act (2007) and blocked the area for safety. The estimated damage of the building is expected to be around 1.2 million.
Authorities have closed the landslide area off to all traffic as more heavy rains are expected and engineers have fears of further erosion in the immediate area.
Meanwhile, a main road connecting Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong district along the Mekong River in Chiang Rai was briefly blocked by fallen earth and rocks in a landslide early this morning, Chiang Khong district chief Tassanai Suthapoj said.
Mr Tassanai said the road was temporarily closed to traffic by the landslide which occurred near Ban Hua Meng in Tambon Wiang of Chiang Khong district.
The road was re-opened after tractors were used to clear off the soil and rocks.
In Doi Nang Non mountain range on Monday afternoon caused rainwater to flow to inundate more than 500 houses in tambons Pong Pha and Pong Ngam in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.
Phahon Yothin highway between Chiang Rai-Mae Sai was flooded with some spots being over 50 centimeters under water, making the road impassable to all kinds of vehicles.
By Geoff Thomas
Photos of Landslide