01/10/2017, 09.58
THAILAND

Thailand, floods in south: dozens of deaths, more than one million people affected

Thai prime minister says they are the "worst rains in 30 years." The situation is critical in 12 southern provinces of the country. The preliminary estimate talks about 420 million in total damage. Airports and railway lines closed, roads and bridges collapsed. Weather alert for the next days.

 

Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 25 people have died in torrential rains in southern Thailand, which have caused floods and landslides. According to reports from the Head of Thai Civil Protection, Chatchai Promler, the situation remains critical in 12 southern provinces, from January of heavy flooding theater. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha stressed that these are the "worst rains in 30 years."

Experts speak of abnormal weather conditions: the rainy season usually ends in late November and it is very rare for strong floods in January. The government has deployed the army in the most affected areas in an attempt to bring aid to the population.

The bulletin issued by the Civil Defence lists the 12 provinces (out of 67) affected by bad weather: Phatthalung, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla, Pattani, Trang, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chumphon, Ranong, Krabi and Prachuap Khirikhan.

The authorities have closed several airports and railway lines, which appear isolated. At least 1.1 million people and almost 370 thousand families, scattered over 5 thousand 111 villages of different districts have been affected. In some places the water level has reached the roofs of houses. There have also been serious repercussions for the agricultural sector. According to initial estimates, the overall damages could be around 420 million dollars.

The current death toll is about 25 victims but there are still several areas with a situation of high criticality and the toll could rise in the coming days. There is also two people missing, washed away by the raging waters. Floods have damaged five government structures, 218 roads and 59 bridges.

The latest information shows that the situation is slightly better in Yala province; in the other 11 provinces affected by the weather there is still a critical state. But the Meteorological Department announces new rains, also of strong intensity, in the area for the next few days; it has also launched a warning for navigation and small boats are invited to stay at the shore,  because of the stormy seas.

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