Bad weather

Floods in Thailand's north-east kill 23

Tambon Tha Rae, Muang district, in the hardest-hit province of Sakon Nakhon. Ten provinces are still battling severe floods as rain continues to lash the upper part of the north-east.
Tambon Tha Rae, Muang district, in the hardest-hit province of Sakon Nakhon. Ten provinces are still battling severe floods as rain continues to lash the upper part of the north-east.PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BANGKOK • Heavy downpours have brought some of the worst floods in years to Thailand's rural north-east where 23 people have died over the past month, officials said yesterday.

Flash floods have disrupted air travel, inundated rail tracks and swallowed farmland across the rice-farming region of Isaan, affecting more than one million Thais.

Twenty-three people have died since July 5, the disaster department said in a daily update. All were swept away by floodwaters and drowned, an official said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o- cha flew to the hardest-hit province of Sakon Nakhon yesterday to inspect a reservoir that had cracked, triggering flash floods.

"Sonca Storm caused flooding in more than 35 provinces," he told residents, referring to a tropical storm that recently blew over from the South China Sea.

"Thai people need to understand that this area is a flood risk because we are facing global warming," added the junta chief, who joined rescue boats to hand out survival kits to stranded families.

Ten provinces are still battling severe floods as rain continues to lash the upper part of the north-east, according to the weather bureau.

In January, unseasonal monsoons deluged Thailand's south, leaving over 30 dead and wrecking infrastructure across the region.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2017, with the headline 'Floods in Thailand's north-east kill 23'. Print Edition | Subscribe