BANGKOK • Severe floods have killed a dozen people in Thailand's south since heavy rain started lashing the area last week.
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) director-general Chatchai Phromlert said two people were injured after being swept away in floods in Surat Thani.
Heavy rain since last Thursday has caused rivers to burst their banks, swamping towns, roads and farmlands. Of the deaths, three were reported in Surat Thani, three in Nakhon Si Thammarat, two in Songkhla, two in Phatthalung and the remaining two in Pattani, Thai media quoted Mr Chatchai as saying.
The other provinces affected by flooding are Chumphon, Krabi, Trang, Yala and Narathiwat. Altogether, more than 366,000 people in 68 districts of the 11 provinces have been affected by the floods, the Bangkok Post reported.
The government was closely monitoring the southern flood situation and speeding up relief operations. Some train services in the south have been disrupted because of flooded tracks, reported The Nation.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed relief and disaster mitigation agencies to work more closely together to speed up aid to residents affected by flooding, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.
Mr Prayut also ordered fast deployment teams equipped with disaster relief equipment to be sent out to assist flood victims around the clock, he added.
Government agencies, including local administrative offices, the DDPM, military, police and local administration organisations, were moving to pump flood waters out of residential zones, he said.
Heavy rain has reportedly covered about 80 per cent of the south. In Nakhon Si Thammarat, the floods have submerged many parts of at least 18 districts, affecting 1,245 villages, reported the Bangkok Post.
Heavy rain in Krabi prompted the evacuation of residents in two villages in Khao Phanom district where the water level in a reservoir rose rapidly and topped its crest, flooding several roads in the villages, the Post said. It did not say whether tourists have been affected.