PM or­ders as­sis­tance for flood vic­tims in the South


>> Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha has or­dered ur­gent help for flood vic­tims in the af­ter­math of heavy down­pours that caused huge dam­age in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon provinces.

The se­vere flood­ing in both coastal provinces wor­ries Gen Prayut, who stressed peo­ple’s safety must be the first pri­or­ity in res­cue op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment spokesman Bud­dhipongse Pun­nakanta.

“The prime min­is­ter has de­manded proper care for all pa­tients in the hos­pi­tal,” Mr Bud­dhipongse told the me­dia yes­ter­day.

The prime min­is­ter yes­ter­day praised of­fi­cials and mil­i­tary of­fi­cers for their joint ef­fort to pro­vide re­lief in Bang Saphan and Bang Saphan Noi dis­tricts, he said.

Both dis­tricts were said to have suf­fered their worst floods in the past two decades, ac­cord­ing to Mr Bud­dhipongse.

It is not clear how much warn­ing au­thor­i­ties had re­ceived or con­veyed be­fore the floods hit.

In ad­di­tion to heavy rain, run-off from the moun­tains has also wors­ened the sit­u­a­tion af­ter heavy rain hit the ar­eas on Thurs­day.

How­ever, since then, the sit­u­a­tion has grad­u­ally im­proved, with wa­ter lev­els re­ced­ing in most parts of Bang Saphan Hos­pi­tal’s com­pound in Prachuap Khiri Khan, hos­pi­tal di­rec­tor Choetchai Chayawatthatho said yes­ter­day.

How­ever, work­ers need one or two days to clean all the build­ings be­fore the hos­pi­tal can re­open, Dr Choetchai told the me­dia yes­ter­day.

The fa­cil­ity was closed af­ter the flood hit and many pa­tients were evac­u­ated to Prachuap Khiri Khan Hos­pi­tal.

Deputy Royal Ir­ri­gation De­part­ment chief Thaw­isak Thanade­chophon said that dredg­ing a sec­tion of Bang Saphan canal near the sea had helped to re­duce the wa­ter level in the area by al­low­ing flood­wa­ter to flow out to sea.

“We ex­pect things should re­turn to nor­mal in one day if there is no more heavy rain,” Mr Thaw­isak said.

The Thai Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment (TMD) has fore­cast that rain will ease off from to­day.

There are cur­rently two groups of rain­storms in south­ern Thai­land — one mov­ing west­ward to the An­daman Sea and In­dia and the other cov­er­ing Prachuap Khiri Khan and Phetch­aburi.

Parts of Bangkok will also be af­fected but not by se­ri­ous weather con­di­tions.

How­ever, the south­ern provinces will have less rain­fall, with bet­ter weather ex­pected around the mid­dle of this week, ac­cord­ing to the TMD.

Chumphon prov­ince, lo­cated to the south of Prachaup Khiri Khan, was also hit hard by last week’s down­pours.

Ac­cord­ing to the Dis­as­ter Pre­ven­tion and Mit­i­ga­tion De­part­ment, more than 36,000 vil­lagers in seven dis­tricts were af­fected, and up to 320 houses, 65 schools and 690 lo­cal roads suf­fered dam­age.

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