NAN - Continual torrential rain brought by tropical storm Talas, now battering central Vietnam, has caused flash floods in several areas of Nan province.
The provincial office of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported small rivers connecting to the Nan River had risen rapidly and overflowed their banks, causing flooding in at least three districts.
The Royal Irrigation Department is pushing ahead with a flood-prevention plan to build a new 12km canal in Ayutthaya, with the aim of speeding up water flow from the Chao Phraya River out to the sea.
The department has already hired four consultant companies to conduct a survey along the route and design the canal and, at the same time, is gathering views from provincial officials and business people who, during a meeting yesterday, welcomed the plan, said department chief Sanchai Ketworachai.
CHAI NAT - Seven provinces in the Central Plains have been warned of possible riverside flooding as the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) increases the rate of discharge from the Chao Phraya dam in Chai Nat.
The warning was issued by Suchart Chareonsri, director of the Regional Irrigation Office 12 in Chai Nat, to the governors of Chai Nat, Uthai Thani, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Ang Thong, Suphan Buri and Ayutthaya.
Phichit province in the North is bearing the brunt of runoff from a mountain range in neighbouring Phetchabun, leaving at least 60 houses in Dong Charoen district flooded yesterday, authorities said.
The village of Ban Wang Na in tambon Huay Phuk emerged as the epicentre of the flooding late last night after several days of heavy rain.
The mountain range is situated in Phetchabun's Chon Daen district, close to the provincial border.
WRITER: CHEEWIN SATTHA
MAE HONG SON - A fire destroyed living quarters at a refugee camp in Muang district late on Wednesday night, leaving about 200 Karen residents homeless.
A total of 36 huts in Ban Mai Nai Soi camp’s pok (living zone) 5 in Pang Moo were reduced to ashes by the blaze, that broke out about 10.45pm on Wednesday. There were no reports of casualties, Pisit Kitbunanan, chief of Muang district of Mae Hong Son, said after inspecting the devastated area on Thursday morning.
The cause of the fire was not known. Authorities were investigating.
WRITER: APINYA WIPATAYOTIN
The historic economic loss caused by mega-floods which hit the Central region in 2011 is still haunting the government today as pressure mounts for it to come up with a concrete plan to prevent or limit...
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang offered a public apology to Bangkok residents Thursday after they endured one of the worst days of flooding in years.
"I've tried my best and truly understand how badly the people are suffering the consequences of the floods. I apologise for this trouble with no excuses and I am willing to listen to all complaints and criticism," Pol Gen Aswin said.
He was speaking after he spent Thursday morning visiting flood-affected areas in Bangkok, following a seven-hour downpour throughout the city.
Heaviest downpour in 15 years in Sukhothai
The heaviest floods in 15 years have forced the closure of several businesses in the commercial heart of Khiri Mat district in Sukhothai.
Despite the flood, the irrigation agency has dismissed a chance of the country facing a repeat of the 2011 flood crisis.
Shops and businesses in the downtown municipality were closed as floodwaters rose rapidly on Sunday.
Met issues warning of further heavy downpours
Several northern provinces have been hit by flash floods following persistent heavy rain with the Meteorological Department warning that downpours will continue until today.
In Uttaradit, mountain run-off triggered by torrential downpours caused the Phi and Pladuk creeks in tambon Nam Phi of Thong Saen Khan district to overflow yesterday.
Floods submerged scores of villages in tambon Nam Phi with more than 200 households affected.
WRITER: ANUCHA CHAROENPO
In Hlaing Thar Yar township of Yangon, dirty water has been a problem for a long time. Local residents like Aung Soe Min have to buy drinking water from shops, resulting in a substantial financial burden.
"There is a dirty water problem here because we are living on the outskirts of the city. We pay 350 kyat (9 baht) for a bottle of drinking water," said Aung Soe Min, 33, a day labourer who was among 200 local residents who joined an event to mark World Water Day on March 22 at a local temple.
Thirteen provinces were hit by summer storms between March 31 and April 7, in which 296 houses were damaged and one people killed, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chalerm Promlert said on Sunday.
They were Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen and Loei in the Northeast; Phetchaburi, Saraburi, Samut Sakhon and Nonthaburi in the Central region; and Chiang Mai, Uttaradit, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Kamphang Phet and Phayao in the North. In these provinces, 71 villages in 22 districts were affected.
Mr Chalerm said one people was killed, but gave no details.
Refugees no more, Karen residents of new homes in southeastern Myanmar hope decades-long ethnic conflict is finally near an end.
By PATHOM SANGWONGWANICH
After decades on the run from armed conflict in their ancestral lands, Myanmar nationals with Karen heritage are finally getting a taste of peace as they settle into newly built houses in the country's southeastern region. The peace is fragile, but the return of genuine smiles suggests there is hope that it will hold this time.
WRITER: WASSANA NANUAM
PHITSANULOK - Thailand will ask nearly 70,000 refugees displaced by skirmishes in Myanmar to return home, but only on a voluntary basis. Those ready to make the trip back home will be sent only gradually, 3rd Army chief Lt Gen Vijak Siribansop said Thursday.
Nay Pyi Taw has prepared areas for them and current peace talks with armed ethnic groups in Myanmar look promising, he said.
By Shamshad Akhtar
This month's floods are a worrisome reminder of the increasing uncertainty of extreme weather events. Thailand's flood season usually ends in November, but this year, influenced by a low depression area and a strong northeast monsoon, widespread flooding in the south of the country has killed more than 90 people, affected over 330,000 households, and resulted in widespread asset losses.
The flood death toll in the South reached 91 yesterday. Four people remain missing, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM).
The deaths and missing persons were reported across 12 provinces, said Chatchai Promlert, DDPM director-general. These areas have been plagued by flooding since Dec 1 until Friday.
WRITER: SUPAPONG CHAOLAN
SURAT THANI: A total of 12 houses heavily damaged by recent floods will be moved to new locations to ensure that they will no longer block drainage routes if future flooding occurs.
Surat Thani governor Uaychai Innak said on Saturday that 51 houses had been destroyed by the floods while another 768 were partially damaged. Authorities and volunteers in the province have already helped residents to repair around 60 units.
WRITER: SUPAPONG CHAOLAN
The flood situation in some southern provinces remained critical yesterday as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visited flood-affected areas and vowed to improve the way the country deals with natural disasters.
The situation in Trang province, in particular, was still causing concern with more areas being inundated and a higher volume of flooding continuing to come from the upper part of the region, local officials said.
Governor to pitch water retention areas
A Surat Thani governor will propose a project to build water retention areas in the province as a long-term measure against flooding.
Governor Auychai Inthanak yesterday said proposals for a water retention scheme, based on the kaem ling or monkey's cheek concept pioneered by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, would be raised during a visit by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to the province tomorrow.
WRITER: WAEDAO HARAI
NARATHIWAT -- Floodwater has begun to recede, leaving only low-lying areas still inundated, in this southern border province.
As of Tuesday morning, rain continued to fall in mountainous areas in Waeng, Tak Bai, Sukhirin, Chanae and Si Sakhon district. The water level in the Sai Buri and Sungai Kolok rivers had stopped rising.
Eighty-five people are confirmed killed and four are still missing in the flooding that has hit Prachuap Khiri Khan and 11 southern provinces since Dec 1, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department director-general Chatchai Promlert said on Monday.
The flood situation has eased in Ranong, Krabi, Trang, Chumphon and Prachuap Khiri Khanbut was still prevalent in parts of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Phatthalung, Yala, Songkhla, Pattani and Narathiwat.