TheJournal.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more »
Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 21 January, 2018
Advertisement

Six dead in Thailand as floods hit southern tourist areas

Over 120,000 households have been affected by the flooding

Riders use a road flooded by an overflowing lake on Ko Samui in Thailand yesterday.
Riders use a road flooded by an overflowing lake on Ko Samui in Thailand yesterday.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

FLASH FLOODS HAVE hit the south of Thailand, with torrential rains leaving at least six people dead, delaying flights and disrupting holidays during peak tourist season.

Nine provinces along Thailand’s southern tail have been hit by unseasonal rains for nearly a week, with the resort islands of Samui and Phangan deluged, leaving thousands of tourists stranded or delayed.

Six people have been killed and at least 120,000 households have been affected by the flooding across the south, the Interior Ministry said in a statement today, where waters have turned roads into rivers and upended rail tracks.

In a statement this morning, the Thai Meteorological Department warned residents and visitors to the south of possible “heavy rain and flash floods” with downpours expected to continue for two more days.

Photos circulating on social media showed cars and motorcyclists plying through muddy, waist-high waters.

A smattering of foreign tourists on Samui took advantage of the flooded streets, drawing bemused looks from locals as they bobbed along in inflatable tubes sipping beers.

Thailand Flooding Tourists wear flotation devices and moped riders pause before crossing a flooded roadway on Ko Samui yesterday. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Cancelled

Tuula Fitzpatrick, the owner of Moby Dick guesthouse near Samui’s main party strip, said the flooding was the worst to hit the island in over a decade.

“In our guesthouse there were lots of people whose flights were cancelled,” she told AFP.

I’ve been living here for 12 years and I’ve never seen it so bad… It was scary. Some of my staff couldn’t come to work.

Rail services have also been disrupted on the mainland, with trains unable to pass through the flooded region.

“The flood waters have hit the tracks and in some places the track was washed away,” said Thanongsak Kongprasert, deputy governor of the State Railway of Thailand.

The main airport in Nakhon Si Thammarat province has been shuttered because of a flooded runway, affecting at least 26 flights, the transport ministry said.

Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha arrived in the southernmost province of Narathiwat on Friday to hand out flood relief and meet officials.

Thailand Flooding A man drives a motorbike vending cart on a road flooded by an overflowing lake on Ko Samui, Thailand yesterday. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Malaysia

Across the border in northern Malaysia more than 15,000 people remained stranded in relief centres after days of tropical downpours as thousands more headed home to survey the damage wreaked by the floods.

Amir Sarifudin, Terengganu state civil department force deputy director told AFP:

The weatherman has predicted no more heavy rain. More relief centers are being closed but we remain on alert.

But frustration mounted among those stuck in relief centres as evacuees complained of their inability to work and provide for their families.

Mohamad Zain Sapein, a labourer from northern Kelantan state, told AFP:

I usually earn about 50 ringgit [€10.50] daily. Now I only have 15 ringgit in my pocket for my family of four.

The rains are unusually heavy for this time of year, with most of Thailand normally experiencing a cooler, dry period from early November through January – a three-month long peak tourist season that is crucial to the economy.

© AFP, 2016

Read: Joe Biden to Trump: ‘Grow up Donald… Time to be an adult’

Read: The Berlin attack has forced changes to the Changing of the Guard

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (14)