BANGKOK: More than 600,000 Thais have been affected by flooding since July and more than a quarter of Thailand’s provinces have been inundated, prompting officials to issue landslide warnings and begin evacuation measures yesterday.
Four people have been killed and more rainfall is expected later this week.
“Due to a heavier-than-usual monsoon season, 21 provinces are experiencing flooding. We have issued a warning about landslides and have told boats in the Gulf of Thailand to be vigilant,” Chatchai Promlert, chief of Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said.
Parts of Ayutthaya province north of the capital Bangkok have been deluged by up to a metre of water, he said. Ayutthaya town is a Unesco World Heritage Site where ancient temples were damaged in the 2011 floods.
At least 10 provinces in the central plains, the main rice-growing region, have been affected by the floods but the extent of damage is not yet known.
The flooding has hit in harvest season and output is likely to be affected, but there has been no official comment yet.
Plodprasop Suraswadi, Deputy Prime Minister, said: “Water levels in our dams are low enough to handle any extra rainfall.”
Municipal authorities have ordered sandbags stacked around shops and homes and extra water pumps have been installed in many areas.