In southern Thailand at least 20 people have been killed in severe flash floods and more than 553,000 households have been affected by the disaster, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation yesterday.
The victims are in Nakhon Si Thammarat, the worst-hit area, it said. Few details of the fatalities or the age of those who died were available.
According to the department, flooding from consistent downpours across the South started on 25th November.
People in 553,715 households in 100 districts of 11 provinces were hit.
The provinces affected were Chumphon, Surat Thani, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
The department said thousands of people have been evacuated from the area, where local officials have been sent to assess damages.
Many areas in 51 districts of five southern provinces of Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung and Songkhla are still inundated, while officials are working to help victims and ease the crisis.
Government House spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will today take government officials to tambon Mae Chao Yu Hua of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Chian Yai district to inspect the flood situation and visit those being badly affected by floods.
The prime minister will also hand out relief bags and survival kits to flood victims and give moral support to local officials whose duty is to help them, Mr Burapachaisri said.
While he is there, the premier will meet state officials who are responsible for water management in the area to adjust plans and measures to deal with flooding more effectively.
“The premier is concerned over the flood situation in the South. He has instructed local officials to monitor the situation around the clock so they can inform residents of floods in advance,” he said.
Mr Burapachaisri said the prime minister has instructed the Ministry of Defence to send soldiers to help fix damaged houses, roads and bridges affected by the flooding.
He said the prime minister has also instructed the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to take care of vulnerable people such as the elderly, children and sick people.
Local officials from the Interior Ministry and Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry have been told to help assess the damage to farmlands and housing so compensation will be paid to those being affected as quickly as possible, he said.
He said the prime minister is also saddened to learn of the deaths and has expressed his condolences to their families.
Meanwhile, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) yesterday said 10 train services have resumed from Bangkok to several southern provinces.