Chaos as floods triggered by storm hit Thailand

A bird's eye view of the floods yesterday in the Thai province of Rayong, located some 220km east of Bangkok. Continuous rain in the wake of tropical storm Vamco since Sunday has caused landslides, swept away houses and created chaos on the roads. Th
A bird's eye view of the floods yesterday in the Thai province of Rayong, located some 220km east of Bangkok. Continuous rain in the wake of tropical storm Vamco since Sunday has caused landslides, swept away houses and created chaos on the roads. The authorities have advised 14 eastern and southern provinces of floods and landslides, including Phuket, Krabi, Rayong and Songkhla.PHOTOS: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Rayong residents travelling on flooded roads, which have led to traffic chaos in many of the affected areas.
Rayong residents travelling on flooded roads, which have led to traffic chaos in many of the affected areas.

Pattaya among areas hit; Bangkok warns of more landslides across 14 provinces

BANGKOK • Flood-weary residents and tourists in the inundated beach resort town of Pattaya and Chon Buri's Bang Lamung district braced themselves for more heavy rain overnight but relief was in sight with the downpours expected to ease today .

Continuous rain in the wake of tropical storm Vamco - now downgraded and heading to Myanmar - has lashed Thailand's north-east, east and Central Plains since Sunday, causing landslides, sweeping away houses and creating chaos on roads.

The National Disaster Warning Centre had advised 14 eastern and southern provinces of floods and landslides, including Phuket, Krabi, Trang, Rayong and Songkhla.

REASONS BEHIND DISASTER

The flooding in Pattaya - declared a disaster area by the Interior Ministry on Thursday - was fuelled by heavy rains in the low-lying gulf resort, and made worse by encroachment on public canals and waterway banks as water was prevented from draining into the sea, said Pattaya's deputy mayor Weerawat Khakhai.

The flooding in Pattaya - declared a disaster area by the Interior Ministry on Thursday - was fuelled by heavy rains in the low-lying gulf resort, and made worse by encroachment on public canals and waterway banks as water was prevented from draining into the sea, Pattaya's deputy mayor Weerawat Khakhai said.

The city was considering short-term solutions such as digging up footpaths to let water through, he said on Thursday.

Officials were inspecting the damage to provide aid while steps were being taken to compensate victims of the floods.

Mr Weerawat said drains were already struggling to keep up in the expanding city, 150km south-east of Bangkok, while garbage was also clogging the pipes.

Drivers faced traffic chaos in Bang Lamung. One person died in the district on Thursday after being swept away in strong currents and his body was found yesterday, the Bangkok Post reported, quoting the police.

Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had urged agencies to help affected people, especially those in Chon Buri.

Tourism in Pattaya is expected to drop by 20 per cent to 30 per cent this weekend due to the heavy rains, according to the Eastern Chapter of the Thai Hotels Association.

"Both foreigners and locals have cancelled their trips to Pattaya this weekend," said Mr Sanphet Suphabuansathien, regional president of the association.

He added that all ferry operators between Pattaya and Koh Lan had suspended their services, while water and beach activities have stopped since Wednesday.

Hotels in Pattaya have been hit hard, with the average occupancy rate in the city and nearby areas falling from its usual estimated 60 per cent-70 per cent to 40 per cent-50 per cent.

THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Chaos as floods triggered by storm hit Thailand'. Print Edition | Subscribe