25 provinces declare drought disaster

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BANGKOK (NNT) - According to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), 25 provinces have so far declared drought disaster areas. In Lampang, a province that has yet to make such a declaration, the lack of rain over the past two months has caused the water level in natural water sources and community sources to decrease significantly, affecting some 160 square kilometers of farmland.

Lampang’s Vice Governor Sitichai Chindaluang, together with the Regional Irrigation Office 2 Chief, Preecha Chanthong, revealed today that 44 villages in seven districts of Lampang are expected to be caught up in the drought disaster this year, with two villages expected to face a critical situation.

The province is counting on the discharge of 14 million cubic meters of water to mitigate the disaster, and provide water to farms and households in an area of some 155 square kilometers, especially communities located downstream in the irrigation network in 30 subdistricts, along with other communities in Tak province.

According to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), 25 provinces have so far declared drought affected areas, covering 6,846 villages in 146 districts.

Disaster areas have been declared in six northern provinces, namely Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phetchabun; in 10 northeastern provinces: Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Sakhon Nakhon, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Chaiyaphum, and Sisaket; in 8 central and eastern provinces, namely Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Kanchanaburi, Suphanburi, Chachoengsao, Prachin Buri, Chanthaburi; and in Songkhla in the southern region.

Affected villagers can request assistance by calling the 1784 disaster hotline, available 24 hours a day.

The Government Spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat says the Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed his concern for the general public in many provinces facing the drought disaster. He has ordered related agencies to monitor the water situation to mitigate the disaster, especially in provinces that have declared disaster areas.

In the Eastern Economic Corridor in Chachoengsao, Rayong, and Chonburi, the Prime Minister has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to ensure continuous water availability.

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Reporter : Tanakorn Sangiam
Rewriter : Rodney McNeil
National News Bureau & Public Relations :