Thursday, October 06, 2011

As extensive flooding continues to wreak havoc in 28 provinces throughout the country, the confirmed death toll on Thursday had risen to 244 with three people missing, and the forecast isa for worse to come.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department director Wibul Sanguanpong said the flooding has hit 1,486 tambons of 201 districts of 28 provinces, affecting 2.6 million people and damaging more than 7.5 million rai of farmland.

The flood toll as of Oct 6 was 244 dead and three missing.

Mr Wibul, also deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s disaster monitoring centre, said the amount of water in major dam reservoirs was still at a critical level and overflows from the Chao Phraya river have seriously hit low-lying areas in Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Ang Thong, Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi.

In Ayutthaya, authorities alerted residents living around the former capital’s central area, known as Koh Muang, to evacuate their belongings to safe ground immediately as more flooding was expected to hit the area in the next few hours.

There were fears that floodwalls in the area could not resist the flood torrent and also concerns that the floodwaters would surge into the famous Wat Yai Chaimongkol temple in the area.

Ayutthaya governor Witthaya Piewpong said that flooding in the province is expected to reach a critical point in the next three to seven days as overflow from the Lop Buri, Pasak and Chao Phraya rivers would add to existing flood woes in the province.

It is predicted that flood levels will increase by at least 50 centimetres, Mr Witthaya said, adding that he had instructed workers to reinforce embankments around the Koh Muang area with more sandbags, raising the level of the embankment from 50cm to one metre.

Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri said Bang Pahan hospital in Ayutthaya has been temporarily closed because of flooding.

He said of the 17 patients being treated in the hospital, two had been moved to Ang Thong hospital, four to Uthai Thani hospital, four to Somdej Phra Sangkharat hospital and seven to Wang Noi hospital.

Two field hospitals have been set up at the PTT petrol station between Bang Pahan hospital and the district office and at tambon Bang Kwang in Maharat district.

They were being staffed around the clock by doctors and staff from Vajira Phuket hospital.

Ban Phraek, Maharat, Tha Rua and Nakhon Luang hospitals in Ayutthaya and Chumsaeng hospital in Nakhon Sawan are also under a flood threat.

Diamond earring studs

Read more