Thailand’s southern region on high alert due to severe flooding

Photo courtesy of Yala Public Relations Office

Flooding in the southern reaches of Thailand has the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) on high alert. Surasee Kittimonthon, ONWR’s secretary-general, expressed concern yesterday, disclosing that the situation is expected to remain critical for several days as forecasts predict continued downpours.

The Flood-Prone Area Water Management Centre in the Southern Region, chaired by Surasee, is particularly worried about the southernmost provinces where the deluge has already wreaked havoc on homes and farmland. Local authorities are keeping a watchful eye on rainfall volumes in the Sukhirin and Waeng districts of Narathiwat.

Intense rainfall has also been reported in Muang, Bannang Sata, and Krong Pinang districts of Yala, as well as some areas in nearby Pattani. In some cases, people have been forced to leave their homes, with many having to climb onto their roofs to await rescue from the rising floodwaters.

The Bang Lang dam, a significant water source situated on the Pattani River in Yala, was holding 1,242.45 million cubic metres (m3) of water as of yesterday. This equates to 85% of its capacity. As the dam nears its limit, its ability to buffer the effects of the continued flooding is decreasing.

Despite the grim outlook, Surasee predicts the floods will begin to recede over the New Year weekend. However, yesterday saw eight districts in Pattani declared disaster areas. These districts, comprising 30 tambons and 95 villages, are Kapho, Khok Pho, Mai Kaen, Muang, Nong Chik, Sai Buri, Thung Yang Daeng, and Yarang. The floodwaters here have impacted a minimum of 25,000 people from 8,360 families, reported Bangkok Post.

In Narathiwat, the situation is equally dire, with floods affecting 158,126 people from 41,442 families across 13 districts. These include Bacho, Chanae, Cho Airong, Muang, Rangae, Rueso, Sri Sakhon, Sukhirin, Sungai Kolok, Sungai Padi, Takbai, Waeng, and Yi-ngo. The flooding has claimed the lives of seven people, with three deaths reported in Rangae district and four in Rueso district.

Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin was on the ground in Narathiwat on Tuesday to assess the situation in the southern region. This visit served to underscore the severity of the flooding and the urgent need for ongoing monitoring and response measures.

South Thailand NewsThailand 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.

Related Articles