Floods cut off south Thai­land

The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD - Su­rat Thani

– Over­land routes to Thai­land’s flood-hit south were sev­ered yes­ter­day af­ter two bridges col­lapsed fol­low­ing days of tor­ren­tial rain that has killed at least 25 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a five-year-old girl.

The heav­i­est Jan­uary rains for three decades have lashed the coun­try’s south­ern neck for more than a week, af­fect­ing 1.1 mil­lion peo­ple across eleven prov­inces. The un­sea­sonal down­pours have also put a damp­ener on Thai­land’s peak tourist pe­riod, prompt­ing can­cel­la­tions on pop­u­lar re­sort is­lands in­clud­ing Sa­mui and Phangan.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, the main road head­ing down Thai­land’s south­ern neck, High­way 4, was closed in Prachuab Kiri Khan prov­ince, four hours south of Bangkok af­ter two bridges col­lapsed, a high­ways depart­ment spokesper­son said.

Trains south have also been stopped by the ris­ing flood­wa­ters, in­creas­ing de­mand on al­ready stretched flights to and from the flood-rav­aged re­gion. The death toll has crept up over re­cent days as floods have reached roof-top level in some ar­eas.

A five-year-old girl in Prachuab prov­ince be­came the lat­est vic­tim when a flash flood hit a van she was trav­el­ling in late on Mon­day.

Re­lief worker Rawiroj Tham­mee said: “The girl was swept away ... vil­lagers found her body 200m from the van.”

The re­gion has been bat­tered by what junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha de­scribed as the heav­i­est Jan­uary rain­fall in 30 years. Vast tracts of the south, an agri­cul­tural hub of rub­ber, palm oil and fruit plan­ta­tions, are un­der wa­ter while floods have caused deaths and dam­age. – AFP

Pic­ture: Reuters

WASHED AWAY. A bridge dam­aged by floods at Chai Buri District, Su­rat Thani prov­ince, south­ern Thai­land on Mon­day.

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