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.