BANGKOK • Thailand yesterday reported at least five deaths after flash floods caused by monsoon rain hit seven provinces in the country's southern region.
The authorities reported that the deaths were all in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, where television footage showed staff of a hospital piling up sandbags outside an emergency room to fend off water gushing in from the street.
Other images showed people wading or pushing motorcycles through thigh-deep water while some residents, including a Buddhist monk, rowed boats through commercial areas where children played.
The floods started a week ago but had receded by yesterday, according to the Interior Ministry, and had affected more than 255,000 households in seven of the southern provinces.
The impacted region is home to Thailand's major rubber plantations, which account for the majority of the world's natural rubber supply.
The Rubber Authority of Thailand said yesterday it will pay affected farmers 3,000 baht (S$133) if the flood damaged more than 20 rubber trees in their plantations.