Death toll from Thailand floods rises to 25

2017-01-10 19:48:08

The death toll from massive flooding in Thailand’s south has risen to 25 as heavy rains continue to pound the region, affecting more than a million people.

Death toll from Thailand floods rises to 25
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The Khaosod news website reported Tuesday that among the latest recovered bodies was that of a 5-year-old girl who lost her footing while trying to join her family on the roof of a blocked van in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

A main highway connecting Bangkok to the southern region has been cut off due to water run-off, and Highway Department officials were building a temporary bridge Tuesday afternoon to try to reopen the road.

In Bang Saphan district -- one of the hardest-hit areas in Prachuab Khiri Khan -- a railway has been disrupted and more than 90 patients evacuated from a hospital after its ground floor was inundated, according to the Bangkok Post.

Another 39 patients remaining at the hospital were moved to upper floors.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chatchai Promlert was cited as saying that 1.1 million people from 369,680 households were affected in nearly 5,000 villages in 111 districts since the beginning of the month.

In Songkhla province, all access roads to five districts have been cut off by floods.

Heavy rainfall has also been hitting Bangkok since Monday afternoon, leaving traffic at a standstill across the capital.

Over the week, the navy deployed its biggest landing platform dock, the HTMS Ang Thong, to Nakhon Si Thammarat to be used as a base to help flood victims.

Military helicopters are being utilized to transfer food and relief packages from the ships to residents stranded in their homes as many roads are submerged.

The commander of the southern military region, Lt.-Col. Piyawat Nakwanich, also ordered military barracks to be opened for civilians to act as temporary shelters.

Each provincial governor has been given 20 million baht ($560,000) by the military government to be used for relief, with additional funding to be approved by a committee chaired by junta leader-cum-prime minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Since Jan. 1, the unusually strong rains have drenched Thailand’s south, cutting off roads and rail tracks, forcing the closing of airports and affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

In some villages, the water level has reached roof height.

The tourist islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phan-ngan have also been severely affected, with holidaymakers unable to leave for several days and electricity cut off.

Anadolu Agency

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