Severe southern flooding continues

People are forced to travel by boat to flooded Tha Sala Hospital in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province on Wednesday. (Photo by Nujaree Raekrun)

Severe flooding continued to afflict nine southern provinces on Wednesday with Nakhon Sri Thammarat heavily inundated and at least 15 people killed in the region since Nov 25.

Chayapol Thitisak, director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said heavy rain due to the northeastern monsoon caused continued flooding in Chumphon, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Trang and Yala.

Floodwater covered 12 districts and killed five people in Pattani, he said. In Yala, eight districts were inundated and two people were killed.

In Songkhla, all 16 districts were flooded and three people had drowned. In Phatthalung, all 11 districts were flooded and one person had been killed.

In Trang, floods affected eight districts and killed two people. Eight districts in Chumphon, six districts in Surat Thani and all of Narathiwat’s 13 districts were under water.

In Nakhon Sri Thammarat, two people were killed and 13 districts were flooded. Tha Sala Hospital in Tha Sala district was under 50-100 centimetres of water, but its services continued.

Dr Kitti Ratanasombat, director of the 280-bed hospital, said if floods further rose, its backup power would have problems and patients would be evacuated to Sichon and Wachirawut hospitals.

The State Railway of Thailand said trains on the Bangkok-Nakhon Sri Thammarat route stopped at the Thung Song junction station.

In Sichon district, officials found the bodies of two elderly women who earlier went missing when runoff swept their bus, carrying 52 people, into a roadside ditch Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Highway 401 (from Nakhon Sri Thammarat to Surat Thani) was impassable.

The entrance of Nakhon Sri Thammarat airport was about 50 centimetres under water. Flight services continued, with the airport director evaluating the situation on an hourly basis.

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