Thai rains trigger landslides and floods disrupting northern tourism

Photo courtesy of Karl Grenet/Flickr

A slew of torrential Thai rains has instigated landslides and flash floods causing demolition to the roads in the northern regions of Nan and Mae Hong Son, as well as the western regions of Tak and Kanchanaburi.

The Thai rains, relentless in their downpour, have been hitting the regions of Pua and Bo Kluea which are situated in Nan province. The heavy rainfall has saturated the mountain slopes to the maximum resulting in a spate of landslides on highways disrupting the normal traffic flow. Specifically, three landslides occurred along Highway 1256 with four more on Highway 1081.

In response to these heavy Thai rains incidents, the Highway Department in the district of Bo Kluea has instructed the deployment of construction and maintenance teams from Phichit to erect a Bailey bridge in areas affected by the landslides. Completion of these makeshift bridges, however, is anticipated to take several days, during which time traffic will remain obstructed.

Bo Kluea district was also the destination for a visit yesterday by the Nan province’s governor, Wiboon Waewbandit, assisted by local officials. The main aim of the visit was to review damages resulting from the relentless Thai rains and subsequent landslides. Following their tour, officials reported that the local Ban Bo Luang School will serve as a temporary residence for locals from an estimated 14 households who are situated within the landslide risk zone.

In parallel to this, ongoing rainfall in Tak has led to road subsidence as well as more flash floods. The areas particularly impacted include the Mae Sot district in Tak and the Myawaddy township, which is located in Myanmar.

Intense Thai rains have submerged the major road which provides a connection between Myawaddy and the Hpa-An township situated in Karen State. Accompanying this issue, a number of homes in Myawaddy have been swamped, and as a consequence, transport and traffic movement have been temporarily abandoned.

The problems continued yesterday with the appearance of subsidence on Highway 105 located in Tak’s Tha Song Yang district. This incident resulted in a crack along the road measuring 5 metres in depth and 60 metres in length. In response to this issue, District 2 of the Tak Highway Authority, based in Mae Sot, started the construction of an emergency road diversion. They also plan to set up a Bailey bridge on the damaged road sections to curb heavy Thai rains.

Recent warnings from the Geohazards Operation Centre have indicated an imminent risk of flash floods for the provinces in both Mae Hong Son and Nan located in the North, as well as Tak and Kanchanaburi in the West. These events are expected to persist till tomorrow, reported Bangkok Post.

Forecasts for Thai rains released yesterday from the Thai Meteorological Department, spanning till Friday, highlight the presence of a moderate southern monsoon which is currently extending across the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

Simultaneously, a low-pressure trough is being recorded over southern China and northern Vietnam. The result of this condition is the onset of heavy Thai rains throughout the country’s northern regions.

During the forthcoming weekend, it is expected that the moderate trough will shift past Thailand’s north and northeast regions as well as Laos to subsequently join with the low-pressure trough currently stationed over northern Vietnam.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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