Doksuri leaves grim picture
8 provinces reeling from heavy floods
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.