WET SEASON WOES
Angthong under water, and 7 more drown Health ministry
prepares Bt10m for aid as tally of sick hits 100,000
Elephants are used to help in the reinforcing of a sandbag wall near an elephant den in Ayutthaya, to keep floodwater out of the compound.
Heavy rain continued to fall in many parts of Thailand as strong currents broke flood-prevention barriers yesterday and left the town of Angthong under 60 centimetres of water.
The Public Health Ministry prepared a Bt10-million budget to help people affected by the floods after the number of sick hit 100,000.
Strong pre-dawn currents burst the barriers at Anthong - piles of sandbags and existing earthen dikes - and submerged government offices, hospitals, schools, and Kasetsuwaphan Market.
Chaiyo, Pa Moke, Wiset Chai Chan, and Sawaengha districts - flooded for nearly 10 days now - also saw water rising.
Governor Wiboon Sanguanpong said floods affected over 10,000 residents in six districts and had damaged over 3,000 rai of farmland. Persistent rain has added to the crisis and prevented officials from assessing damage.
Permanent Secretary for Public Health, Dr Prat Boonyawongwirot, who gave medical supplies to Pa Moke residents, said the ministry had set Bt10 million for a central fund to assist flood victims.
He said nearly 100,000 people in 11 flood-hit provinces had been laid low -suffering conjunctivitis, athlete's foot or diarrhoea.
The floods caused seven more deaths yesterday - three drowned in Sukhothai, one in Tak, one in Nakhon Ratchasima, one in Si Sa Ket, and a student disappeared in strong currents in Prachin Buri.
In Nakhon Sawan, residents in flood-hit Chumsaeng and Kao Lieo districts now suffer foul-smelling stagnant floodwater - and a lack of toilets. Its well-known natural lake, Bung Boraphet, overflowed, inundating 10 tambons in Tha Tako district, while a local market was under 50-centimetres of water.
In Sukhothai town, officials hurried to repair eroded earthen dikes to prevent the rising Nan River from flooding the inner city.
In Phitsanulok, officials gave out 100 pairs of plastic boots to villagers in flood-hit Bang Rakam district to prevent leptospirosis. The province has so far had five cases - but no reported deaths.
In Tak's Phop Phra district, a forest run-off at 5am destroyed one and submerged 10 other homes on the Thai-Burma border.
In Lop Buri, the Pasak Cholasit Dam increased its water release to 35 million cubic metres, after 84 million cubic metres of water poured into the dam yesterday. It is now at 89-per-cent full.
The Royal Irrigation office in Nakhon Ratchasima said Lam Takong, Lam Phra Pleung, Lam Chae, and Lam Mul Bon reservoirs now contain enough water for next year's dry season.
In Khon Kaen's Wang Yai district, heavy rain made the Chi River overflow and flood 9,600 rai of farms; 671 families were affected.
In Si Sa Ket's Uthumphon Phisai district, dozens of homes were under one metre of water following two days of very heavy rain, but people remained positive as the depression had brought much-needed water to drought-stricken crops and would fill reservoirs for next dry season.
The weather bureau said the low-pressure cell - would bring heavy rain to some areas of the lower North, Central, and eastern regions.
Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon would bring heavy downpours in Bangkok this evening and further rain to the southern provinces of Ranong, Chumphon, and Phang Nga. The department is also monitoring another storm - "Bebinca" - now developing in the Philippines.