PM Srettha visits devastated Narathiwat amidst ongoing Thai Floods and regional cooperation talks

Photo courtesy of Royal Thai Government

Ravaging floods in Thailand’s southernmost provinces prompted Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to visit Narathiwat on Tuesday. The region has been devastated by a persistent low-pressure system causing flash floods. Despite the water receding somewhat, significant property damage is evident.

In addition to Narathiwat, the Prime Minister’s itinerary included a trip to Phuket. Here, he had dinner with his Malaysian counterpart, Anwar Ibrahim, who was visiting privately. The PM voiced his intent to discuss the establishment of a Thai-Malaysian committee to enhance cooperation on border trade, farm exports, tourism, and security. The potential construction of a bridge over the Sungai Kolok River was also on the agenda.

“The prime minister has expressed deep concern about flooding in the far South and assigned the ministry to care for flood victims and offer assistance to residents,” said Interior Ministry spokeswoman, Traisuree Taisaranakul. She highlighted that five provinces – Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat – were most severely affected by the floods. A total of 19,624 families are affected, with Narathiwat suffering the most significant damage. Immediate assistance is required for 16,680 families in 11 of its districts.

Heavy machinery has been deployed to dredge waterways and expand outlets for faster water drainage in flooded areas, under orders from Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Local administrations are providing medical supplies, food, and drinking water to residents.

Post-flood, authorities plan to assess the damage to public and private properties as well as farmland. Agencies have been instructed to prevent hoarding of consumer goods and food amidst local scarcity of essential goods.

Essential consumer items, mainly produced in Ratchaburi, are still in stock in most stores in Yala. The Commerce Ministry is ensuring flood victims in Yala and Narathiwat receive assistance, and the Department of Internal Trade plans to dispatch Thong Fah (Blue Flag) mobile stores to sell basic goods at discounted prices once the flood recedes.

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) reported critical water levels in six out of eight districts in Yala, leading to resident evacuations. The RTP is also making efforts to apprehend thieves targeting flood victims. They have established hotlines – 191 and 1599 – for residents affected by the floods.

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency reported that the floods covered approximately 142 square kilometres in Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala, including around 25 square kilometres of paddy fields, reported Bangkok Post.

In a tragic incident, two individuals, Kordeeyoh Johlae, 89 years old, and Araeesoh Jaborsu, 63 years old, lost their lives when their evacuation boat capsized in the Rueso district of Narathiwat. Two more individuals, Narsuha Mayi, 8 years old, and Muhammed Nabas Mayi, 2 years old, are still missing.

Thailand News

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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