Thailand

Flash floods rage upcountry: Communities pounded by Doksuri runoff

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Much of the Northeast and parts of the North are being bashed by tropical depression Doksuri, which has unleashed flash floods that have cut off roads, devastated villages and overfilled reservoirs and farmland, prompting emergency responses.

Doksuri, downgraded from a typhoon as it was centred in Nan at 10am yesterday, has dumped unprecedented levels of rainfall on some areas along its path as it gradually head towards Myanmar yesterday.

In Kalasin, runoff from the mountains toppled a large tree which collapsed onto a bridge in Ban None Sri Charoen in Na Mon district. The bridge was rendered impassable and will take up to three days to repair, according to the local authorities.

Teams of fast-deployment emergency officials were on standby around the clock, said Kalasin governor Suvit Khamdee.

Another road in Ban Pornsawan leading to Somdet district was under 2 metres of water. A car was stranded in the fast current, although the driver and passengers managed to escape before the vehicle was swept off the road. The water shows no sign of receding.

In Chaiyaphum, water rushed down the Phu Lan Kha mountain range and submerged farmland and parts of the main Chaiyaphum-Tad Tadton route after persistent heavy rain fell overnight in Muang district.

The flood displaced at least 50 homes in low-lying villages in tambon Na Fai. Other residents were warned of a sudden flood risk and to be ready for evacuation.

Similarly severe flooding was reported in Na Kae district of Nakhon Phanom where four reservoirs -- Huay Nang Or, Huay Tho, Huay Phak Dok and Huay Yang -- overflowed with runoff from Phu Phan Noi mountain. The water flooded Nam Kham canal and quickly inundated more than 500 rai of rice fields.

A 1km stretch of the Na Kae-Sakon Nakhon road in tambon Nong Bor was paralysed by 30cm of floodwater. Sakon Nakhon was also bearing the brunt as water rose above 1 metre in the Tao Ngoi public park, a principal attraction, in Tao Ngo district. Gusty winds also uprooted power poles, leaving at least five villages along the Tao Ngoi-Ban Sri Wicha road without electricity.

Two large reservoirs -- the Oon and the Nam Phung -- were over capacity as they continued to receive large volumes of water. The key Nong Harn reservoir was also nearly full with water diverted from nearby areas being pumped into it, according to local authorities.

In Phetchabun, soldiers and trained volunteers launched flat-bottom boats to rescue residents stranded in flooded communities in Lom Sak.

Pan Kham-arb, 66, of Ban Huay Dan Noi, said she and her seven-year-old grandson were shaken as they were being evacuated by the rescuers from their home. The floodwater had gushed into her home.

"I've never seen this much water flowing so fast in my life. I'm terrified," she said.

More than 60 homes were also under 50cm of water in Thong Saen Khan district of Uttaradit.

Over in Phitsanulok, Ban Nam Pad School in Noen Maprang district was inundated with 2 metres of water yesterday, the highest flood level since the school opened, according to Ket Tuankrua, the school director. It was the eighth flood to strike the school this year.

In nearby Phichit, communities in the Muang district municipality endured 10 hours of rain, which overwhelmed the downtown drainage system.

In Phuket, floods which hit the island on Friday eased as food and necessities were handed out by the provincial office yesterday to affected residents in the affected areas of Talang district.

Heavy downpours triggered flash floods, landslides and flight delays in Phuket on Friday. Four areas were declared disaster zones: tambon Pa Klok, Thep Kasatri municipality, tambon Thep Kasatri and Sri Sunthorn municipality.

Bangkok Post
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