400 000 affected, 5 killed in southern Thailand floods


400 000 affected, 5 killed in southern Thailand floods

Annual monsoon rains are causing heavy floods in parts of southern Thailand since November 25. Nearly 400 000 people are affected and at least 5 killed, authorities said. A number of provinces have declared disaster zones in various districts. The worst affected is the country's deep south.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat, officials of Khao Luang National Park in Phrom Khiri district have temporarily closed access to Phrom Lok Waterfall, Ai Khiao Waterfall and three other waterfalls under their jurisdiction, following heavy runoff in the park, the government said. The officials urged nearby residents to beware of flash floods.
The province has declared disaster zones in seven districts: Cha-uat, Bang Khan, Chian Yai, Chulabhorn, Phipun, Thung Song and Pak Phanang. Officials have been dispatched to distribute animal feed to agriculturalists who are struggling to provide for their livestock.
The Nakhon Si Thammarat provincial administration has also set up an emergency flood response center to coordinate relief from various sectors. Local residents are urged to closely follow the latest information from the center.
Similarly, in Songkhla, the province has established an emergency flood response center in Thepa district, after the Thepa Canal overflowed into the surrounding community.
 
At least 5 people (2 in Songkhla, 2 in Pattani 2 and 1 in Yala) have been killed and more than 385 000 were affected. All 5 victims drowned.
Neighboring Malaysia has been affected by heavy rain and flooding during the same period, too. At least 2 people have died there and 13 000 were forced to evacuate.
Thailand's Meteorological Department has forecast that more rain is likely in the South in the days ahead. Low-pressure cells from the Malaysian coast are moving into the lower southern region and are expected to reach the Andaman Sea on December 1.
Several areas in the South may experience more flooding, with rough seas and 2 - 3 m (6.5 - 9.8 feet) high waves expected in the Andaman Sea.

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