Update: The monk was safely rescued from the flooded cave at around 11:30am today. Divers say the monk was fatigued and had a low fever.
Rescue workers are attempting to free a Buddhist monk who has been stuck in a flooded cave in northern Thailand for at least 4 days. The monk, named in a Pattaya News report as 46 year old Phra Ajarn Manat, is thought to have entered a cave in Phitsanulok province on April 3, and become trapped when the entrance flooded over the weekend. He was visiting Tham Phra Sai Ngam cave as part of a pilgrimage in the jungle.
Over 30 rescue workers from the Prasat Bun Sathan Foundation have launched an operation to free the monk, whose plight will remind many of the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue that made headlines around the world.
Tham Phra Sai Ngam cave is reported to be extremely deep and cavernous, according to local residents and rescue workers. It’s understood the monk had already travelled quite far into the cave when heavy rains struck on Sunday and continued for the next few days, cutting off his exit.
According to the Pattaya News, the monk is a frequent visitor to the cave and well-known to local residents, who were first to report the floodwaters and express concern that the monk was trapped. While rescue efforts continue, monks from other temples in the area have gathered at the cave entrance to pray for Phra Ajarn Manat.
The challenging weather conditions are hampering rescue workers’ attempts to reach the monk. However, he has been located alive, just beyond the flooded area. He has access to water, but no food, and is believed to have a slight fever.
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