Dok­suri leaves grim pic­ture

8 prov­inces reel­ing from heavy floods

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - POST RE­PORTERS CHINNAWAT SINGHA

Wa­ter is slowly re­ced­ing in eight prov­inces rav­aged by wide­spread flood­ing brought on by trop­i­cal de­pres­sion Dok­suri but heavy rain­fall con­tin­ues to wreak havoc in low-ly­ing vil­lages, au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day.

The Depart­ment of Dis­as­ter Pre­ven­tion and Mit­i­ga­tion was as­sess­ing the dam­age in eight prov­inces that are still reel­ing from heavy floods trig­gered by Dok­suri, which started out as a typhoon be­fore weak­en­ing to a trop­i­cal de­pres­sion as it swept over parts of the North and North­east and has since moved into Myan­mar.

The de­pres­sion also bat­tered parts of the lower South. The weather bureau has pre­dicted rain will linger in the Cen­tral Plains, the East and parts of the South un­til to­day.

Dok­suri left in its wake flooded plains and homes in 29 dis­tricts and 215 vil­lages in eight prov­inces — Kalasin, Sakon Nakhon, Phrae, Ut­tara­dit, Phit­san­u­lok, Phetch­abun, Phangnga and Satun — from Fri­day to yes­ter­day.

The depart­ment chief, Chatchai Prom­lert, said yes­ter­day his agency has worked with lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions to hand out as­sis­tance to flood vic­tims while re­pairs of flood-dam­aged bridges and roads were un­der way.

Flash floods in vast ar­eas took res­i­dents by sur­prise. Soldiers and lo­cal emer­gency re­sponse units raced against time as they ar­rived in boats to res­cue stranded res­i­dents and house them in tem­po­rary shel­ters or with rel­a­tives.

Mr Chatchai said the sit­u­a­tion was im­prov­ing with less rain­fall but au­thor­i­ties were closely mon­i­tor­ing weather con­di­tions and the level of rain­fall, in­clud­ing in ar­eas where the floods were eb­bing.

Fast-de­ploy­ment emer­gency teams were on standby in flood-prone lo­cal­i­ties such as on river banks and at the feet of moun­tains where wa­ter runoff has given way to land­slides and flash floods.

In Phi­chit, the ir­ri­ga­tion of­fice has been op­er­at­ing wa­ter pumps around the clock to di­vert flood wa­ter from ar­eas sur­round­ing Muang dis­trict. Wa­ter was be­ing si­phoned into the Nan River, which au­thor­i­ties said is ris­ing rapidly.

Gov­er­nor Veerasak Vi­chit­saengsri said flooded down­town ar­eas were ex­pected to dry up yes­ter­day as long as there was no more rain­fall.

The ir­ri­ga­tion of­fice said runoff from Wang Thong moun­tain and ex­cess wa­ter from up­stream Kh­long Chom­poo in neigh­bour­ing Phit­san­u­lok were en­ter­ing Phi­chit through Muang dis­trict be­fore emp­ty­ing into the Nan river.

The sheer vol­ume of wa­ter flow­ing into the river has prompted the au­thor­i­ties to close the wa­ter gates.

In Phit­san­u­lok, hun­dreds of homes and hun­dreds of rai of farm­land were flooded in tam­bons Chai Nam, Wang Nok An and Wang Thong in Wang Thong dis­trict, one of six dis­tricts rav­aged by the Dok­suri-trig­gered floods. The flood wa­ter topped 30cm at its peak out­side Wang Thong Hos­pi­tal.

Phetch­abun res­i­dents, mean­while, be­gan restor­ing t heir wa­ter-rav­aged homes and shops in Lom Sak dis­trict yes­ter­day as gripes rang out about the au­thor­i­ties’ in­abil­ity to pre­vent re­peated floods.

Rueng Sen­sri, 77, of tam­bon Tarn Diew, said he runs a small busi­ness which has ground to a halt for three days due to the floods. He said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­fuses to pull apart a road block­ing the wa­ter­way, caus­ing fre­quent and pro­tracted in­un­da­tions in re­cent years.

In Sakon Nakhon, large reser­voirs in­clud­ing Nong Harn, Nam Oon and Nam Phung were said to be sta­bil­is­ing af­ter spill­ways were flooded ear­lier.

Also, trans­port links to com­mu­ni­ties in Ban None Sri Charoen in Kalasin were re­stored yes­ter­day af­ter a Bai­ley bridge was erected next to an un­der-re­pair con­crete bridge. The lat­ter col­lapsed over the week­end when a canal in Na Mon dis­trict suf­fered ex­treme flood­ing.

In the north­ern prov­ince of Phrae, wa­ter lev­els have dropped af­ter 60 homes in Den Chai dis­trict were sub­merged in 3m of flood­wa­ter on Sat­ur­day.

Muddy wa­ter run-off from the Phetch­abun moun­tain range floods one of the main roads near the Wang Thong Hos­pi­tal in Wang Thong dis­trict of Phit­san­u­lok. The flood sit­u­a­tion in many prov­inces has eased af­ter trop­i­cal de­pres­sion Dok­suri bat­tered wide ar­eas in the North and North­east.

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