Thailand – Flooding Continues in 12 Southern Provinces as Death Toll Rises

According to the latest report on the flood situation in the south of the country. Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) says that the number of fatalities has increased to 25.

DDPM reports that since 1 January 2017, the flood has affected 12 provinces namely Phatthalung, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla, Pattani, Trang, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chumphon, Ranong, Krabi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Heaviest Rain for 30 Years

Observers in Thailand say that the recent heavy rain has been the worst for 30 years. Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) reports that Nakhon Si Thammarat Agromet recorded 615.6 mm of rain in 24 hours on 05 January. Some areas of southern Thailand recorded over 1 metre of rain between 02 to 08 January.

Rainfall 02 to 08 January, 2017 in southern Thailand. Image: TMD

Transport

The flooding has caused havoc with transport. The State Railway of Thailand said trains can still only go as far as Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan as tracks further south have been damaged.

Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport announced an additional suspension of services for 11 and 12 January due to a flooded runway. Technicians are scheduled to inspect the runway and the airport’s electronics systems today. The airport was previously closed from 06 January to 09 January.

Heavy rain and flooding recently affected Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The flood waters destroyed a bridge on the country’s main north-south highway that links Bangkok to the south, causing a 200-kilometer traffic tailback.

Health and Education

Health and education facilities have also suffered. The Ministry of Public Health reported that the total of 112 hospitals have been hit by the floodwater. The Education Ministry yesterday announced that 2,253 schools in the affected areas had suffered flood damage.

Relief and Recovery

The government has launched a centre to aid flood victims at and formulated a post-flood rehabilitation plan, although no request for international aid has been made.

Tourism

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that “life for locals in the many parts of the south is slowly getting to normal as the floodwaters recede. This also means that many tourist activities are now going ahead as planned and tours, temple visits and excursions scheduled.”

However, waves in the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand are still quite high and officials have asked that tourists wait a few days before taking boat tours or island hopping.

TAT adds that “if you are planning to travel in the south, it’s worth checking the weather and status of destinations as well as airports and airlines before you travel.”

TAT have published several updates regarding the impact of the floods on tourist areas. The TAT flood updates can be found here.

Tourism Authority of Thailand said that it is offering information and assistance to tourists through TAT Contact Center 1672 ( Tel: +66 2250 5500) and all its offices in Thailand.  Further contacts for the TAT can be found here.

Forecast

Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) says that more heavy rain is possible in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan. However less rain is likely in the lower southern provinces, although people should remain alert and aware of possible flash floods. In their latest weather warning of 10 January, TMD said:

“The active low pressure over the upper Andaman Sea is forecast to (head) the Gulf of Martaban and Myanmar by today (10 January). Outbreaks of persistent heavy to torrential rains are forecast for following provinces: Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan. Less rain is likely in the lower South. People should be aware of the severe weather conditions and possible flash floods for the next few days. Keep following the weather forecast update.”

However TMD’s 7 day forecast suggests that some heavy rain could return later this week.

“During 14-17 Jan 2017, the moderate high pressure area from the China will cover upper Thailand effect this area is cooler, 3-6°C drops in temperature. During 16-17 Jan 2017, the northeast monsoon prevails over the Gulf and the South will intensify. More rain in the lower South with isolated heavy rain and wind wave will strength by wave height 2-3 meters.”

Flood summary

Last updated: February 2, 2017
Event
Southern Thailand, January 2017
Date
January 1, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Nakhon Si Thammarat
B - Trang
C - Phatthalung
D - Songkhla
E - Pattani
F - Yala
G - Narathiwat
H - Surat Thani
I - Chumphon
J - Ranong
K - Prachuap Khiri Khan
L - Krabi

Magnitude

Rainfall level
147.6 mm in 24 hours
Sawi Agromet - January 5 to January 6, 2017
Rainfall level
151.8 mm in 24 hours
Narathiwat - January 5 to January 6, 2017
Rainfall level
304.8 mm in 24 hours
Nakhon Si Thammarat Agromet - January 4 to January 5, 2017
Rainfall level
170.5 mm in 24 hours
Nakhon Si Thammarat - January 4 to January 5, 2017
Rainfall level
191.5 mm in 24 hours
Surat Thani Agromet - January 4 to January 5, 2017
Rainfall level
142.1 mm in 24 hours
Phatthalung Agromet - January 2 to January 3, 2017
Rainfall level
112.8 mm in 24 hours
Yala Agromet - January 2 to January 3, 2017
Rainfall level
84.5 mm in 24 hours
Sa-Dao - December 31, 2016 to January 1, 2017
Rainfall level
112 mm in 24 hours
Narathiwat - December 31, 2016 to January 1, 2017

Damages

Fatalities
96 people
January 1 to January 26, 2017
Affected
1.8 million
January 1 to January 26, 2017