Thailand – More Rain to Come as Floods Leave 43 Dead, 1.6 Million Affected, 500,000 Homes Damaged

The number of victims of the flood disaster in southern Thailand continues to rise as the flood situation continues in 6 provinces. However, the Thai Meteorological Department are warning of more heavy rain for the next 6 days.

Death Toll Rises

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) reported earlier today that 43 people have now died in the flood disaster that has affected 12 provinces in southern Thailand since 01 January 2017.

The Ministry of Interior says that more than 1.6 million people have so far been affected by the floods and that more than 530,000 homes have been damaged by flood water.

Flooding Remains in 6 Provinces

Of the 12 provinces affected, the flood situation continues in the provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Surat Thani and Prachuap Khiri Khan.

In Songkhla, authorities said it would take at least 10 days before the district becomes completely dry.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, DDPM officials visited Pak Ror Bridge and Pak Rawa Sluice Gate to study the possibility of draining floodwaters into Songkhla Lake and the Gulf of Thailand to speed up flood recovery.

However, the flood situation has eased and continues to improve in Yala, Ranong, Narathiwat, Pattani, Krabi and Chumpon, according to the Ministry of Interior. This has allowed clean up operations to begin in some of the flood-hit areas.

Thailand’s DDPM carry out flood rescue and relief operations in Chumphon, 10 January 2017. Photo: DDPM

More Rain Forecast

The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) has forecast further heavy rain for many southern provinces between 16 and 22 January, 2017. TMD warned of potential flash floods and landslide in areas affected by heavy rain.

In their latest weather warning, TMD said:

“The moderate high pressure over the Northeastern of Thailand and the South China Sea induces the stronger northeast monsoon prevailing across the Gulf and the South with outbreaks of more rain spells.

“During 16-17 January, isolated heavy rain will be forecast especially for provinces: Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
“During 18-22 January, isolated heavy rain will be forecast especially for provinces: Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Trang and Satun.

“People should beware of severe conditions and possible flash flood. Areas prone to landslide are still cautious, and people follow closely the weather update.”

Red Cross Responds

In response to the disaster, Thai Red Cross Society has been distributing relief items and working closely with national, provincial and local authorities to address the most immediate needs of the affected communities.

Red Cross staff and volunteers delivered rice, food, drinking water and non-food items to people in the affected areas. Non-food relief items included relief kits comprising torches and batteries, mosquito nets and basic medicine. As the relief operation continues and assessments are made to unravel the extent of the damage caused by the flooding, the Red Cross plans to distribute more than 37,000 of the relief kits in ten of the affected provinces.

The Red Cross will also send two mobile water units to provide clean drinking water to the flood-affected communities in Nakorn Sri Thammarat. One of these units has the capacity to produce 10,000 litres of drinking water per hour, while the other can produce 3,000 litres per hour. In addition, the national society has sent health staff to support health stations in the affected regions.