Thailand – Warnings Issued as Floods Hit Northern Provinces

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) in Thailand has warned of heavy rain and flooding in 30 provinces around the country of this week.

Flooding has been reported in Mae Hong Son and Nan provinces. DDPM Director-General Chatchai Promlert reported that recent downpours have also caused flooding in Chiang Rai and Phayao.

However, he warned that from 16 to 19 August, more heavy rains are predicted to affect 30 provinces, consisting of 11 in the North, 8 in the Northeast, 2 in the Central Plains, 4 in the East and 5 in the South.

Phrae province is considered to be at considerable risk of flooding following heavy rains in upper areas of the Yom river basin in Phayao, according to the Royal Irrigation Department. The high levels of water from the Yom river basin are expected further down river and could affect parts of Sukhothai province by around 21 August, according to the department.

The Royal Irrigation Department also warned of rapidly rising levels of the Mekong River in Nong Khai. As of 17 August, the level stood at 10.19 metres, according to the Water Resources Department. Critical level is considered to be around 12 metres.

DDPM say that officials will be on standby in these areas to monitor the situation in all affected provinces. Residents are encouraged to take precautions against possible dangers from accumulated rainfall and to strictly heed disaster warnings.

Mae Hong Son Province

Floods affected parts of Thailand’s northern Mae Hong Son Province during the weekend of 13 to 14 August after torrential rain. Emergency evacuations in the tourist district of Pai were carried out after the Pai River burst its banks.

National News Bureau of Thailand, NNT, report that the flood affected a total of five sub-districts, swept away seven bridges and damaged over 20 buildings.

Emergency workers and security officials sent rescue boats and trucks to affected villages to transport residents and tourists to safe places. Pai Hospital has sent medical personnel to the two evacuation centres to help the displaced residents. Rescue workers are also on hand to deal with any other emergencies.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported and levels of the Pai river have started to fall.

Nan Province

Flooding has also affected parts of the northern Nan province when the Nan river overflowed after a period of heavy rain.

Nan Governor Suwat Promsuwan has declared disaster zones across 127 sub-districts, as access to food and clean water has been cut off by the rising waters, according to NNT. Military personnel have been called in to help reach isolated communities.

Water levels in all rivers in the province have reportedly increased significantly, with some overflowing the embankments and flooding riverside communities. Several roads in the capital district and a bridge over the Nan River remain inundated, with some areas of the city under water 3 metres deep. The city suffered major flooding in 2006 and 2011.

Flood warnings were issued by the authorities earlier this week for Nan Province.

Thailand’s National Disaster Warning Center said that flash floods and landslides are expected in Nan’s Tha Wang Pha, Wiang Sa, Na Noi, Bo Kluea, Pua, and Phu Phiang districts, as well as and Phayao province’s Pong and Chiang Muan districts.

They said that those residing in these risk areas are advised to be on alert for potential natural disasters.

Rainfall

Figures for a 24 hour period

15 August

  • Nan – 173.3 mm
  • Nan Agromet – 207.2 mm

13 August

  • Nakhon Phanom – 56.1 mm

12 August

  • Mukdahan – 87.2 mm
  • Nakhon Phanom – 44.2 mm

11 August

  • Nakhon Phanom – 115.0 mm

Flood summary

Last updated: August 17, 2016
Event
Thailand, August 2016
Date
August 13, 2016
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Heavy rain in catchment areas in northern Thailand from 13 August increased river levels, causing flooding in Mae Hong Son, Nan, Chiang Rai and Phayao provinces.

Locations

A - Pai
B - Nan

Magnitude

River level
Overflowing
Pai River, Mae Hong Son Province - August 14, 2016
River level
Overflowing
Nan River, Nan Province - August 14, 2016
Rainfall level
173.3 mm in 24 hours
Nan - August 14 to August 15, 2016