Flooding in southern Thailand has claimed three more lives, raising the total of deaths to 24, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday visited the hardest-hit province, Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department on Monday reported that a woman drowned in Phrasaeng district of Surat Thani and two women drowned in Sathing Phra district of Songkhla, on Sunday.
The latest fatalities raised the death toll to 24 in a region that has been pounded by rain brought by the southern monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand since 25th November. The southern floods are the most extensive in recent years.
The deluge has resulted in 555,194 households being flooded out as of Monday. Nakhon Si Thammarat is the hardest hit with 19 deaths and about 180,000 houses swamped.
Although the general situation had improved, more flooding was reported in Surat Thani, Trang and Songkhla, even as water levels in other provinces were slowly subsiding, the department said.
The weather forecast was for less rain along the Gulf coast on Monday, but more rain for up to 60% of the area for the rest of the week.
The Prime Minister arrived in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Monday. His first stop was a royally sponsored Silpacheep project at Ban Noen Thammang in Chian Yai district, where officials were waiting to fully brief him on the situation. He told waiting flood victims that he was ready to assist them.
He said he was saddened by the deaths and expressed condolences to the families of the deceased, adding aid money will be given to them.
Meanwhile, the department said floodwater from the Trang River in Muang district and in tambons Nong Trut, Bang Rak, Na To Ming and Khuan Pring will stay until it flows to Kantang district and the Andaman Sea.
In Trang, floodwater receded in two out of six flood-hit districts. Wang Wiset, Kantang, Huai Yot and Muang districts were still submerged.
A total of 12,000 people from 5,602 houses in the districts are affected.
A temple and school in tambon Thap Thiang were flooded under 20-70 centimetres of water.