Thailand – Floods in South Leave 96 Dead, 3 Provinces Still Affected

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) says at least 96 [people have died in flooding that affected 12 southern provinces in the country from early January.

Flooding still remains in 3 southern provinces, with around 15,000 families still affected. Meanwhile, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has expressed concerns over the spread flood-related diseases in the affected areas.

Thailand’s DDPM carry out flood rescue and relief operations in Chumphon, January 2017. Photo: DDPM

Since 01 January, 2017, continuous heavy rain influenced by low depression and the strong northeast monsoon caused a widespread flooding in 12 southern provinces in Thailand. Some areas of the south recorded more than 1 metre rain between 02 and 08 January, 2017. More heavy rain fell between 16 and 26 January, 2017.

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

By 24 January, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) reported that 96 people had died as a result of the floods. DDPM says that around 1.8 million people from 590,000 families have been affected. The floods have damaged 4,314 roads, 348 bridges, 70 government offices and 2,336 schools. By mid January, 530,000 homes had been damaged by flood water.

On 31 January 2017 DDPM reported that only 6 districts in the 3 provinces of Nakorn Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Phatthalung were still affected by flooding, with 15,000 families impacted.

DDPM Director-General Chatchai Phromlert said that the department is working on the flood recovery process in 9 provinces including Ranong, Krabi, Trang, Chumporn, Narathiwat and Pattani.

The DDPM has joined with military units and relevant agencies to provide aid to those affected by the flooding and to expedite repair work with an aim to allow citizens to return to their normal lives as soon as possible.

Flood-related Disease

There is now a fear of increased risk of flood-related disease. In the province of Yala, Public Health Officer Dr. Utitsak Harirattanakul said flooding between 19 and 26 January resulted in 365 cases of flood-related disease, mostly respiratory illness, food poisoning, red-eye or Dengue Fever.

On 01 February 2017, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health expressed concerns over the spread of leptospirosis after the flooding in the southern region subsides. Since the beginning of this year, 157 cases have been reported and the disease has killed three people in Krabi and Trang provinces.