Widespread, severe flooding has killed at least nine people and affected 210 000 households or more than half a million people in southern Thailand, officials reported Friday, December 4, 2020, describing the situation as the worst they have seen in 50 years. A state of emergency has been declared for Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, where all the fatalities occurred.
Thailand's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) said another person reportedly went missing. The youngest victim was a child aged five.
DDPM added that the affected provinces are Surat Thani, Phatthalung, Trang, Songkhla, Pattani, Narathiwat, and the worst-hit, Nakhon Si Thammarat, where all nine deaths occurred and a state of emergency has been declared.
The extent of the damage has yet to be confirmed, but reports said scores of houses have been damaged, affecting half a million people. Flooding also ravaged almost 150 000 ha (370 000 acres) of farmland.
The main airport remains open to flight but was reportedly engulfed in floodwaters. Military vehicles were ferrying passengers to the terminal.
Meanwhile, the State Railway of Thailand said train services, particularly those running through the waters, would have to be canceled until the flood recedes.
Five Dead as Flash Floods Hit Southern Thailand.— Wish Fm (@Wishfmradio) December 3, 2020
Thailand on Thursday reported at least five deaths after flash floods caused by monsoon rains hit seven provinces in the country’s southern region.
Joseph Mucheru pic.twitter.com/52BSEuvtub
Some sections of Road 407, the main road linking #Songkhla with #HatYai city, are impassible due to heavy floods. #BangkokPost #Thailand #weather— Bangkok Post (@BangkokPostNews) December 1, 2020
@Nalinee_OPLE via @Ruamduay pic.twitter.com/ARvo68d99a
In southern Thailand, major floods have submerged large areas seriously affecting hundreds of thousands of people.— IFRC Asia Pacific (@IFRCAsiaPacific) December 4, 2020
Thai Red Cross volunteers are using boats and every means possible to help thousands of people affected by the floods, providing cooked food and other relief. pic.twitter.com/PmKX8EEhEN
"This year is the worst we’ve seen here in 50 years," Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Kraisorn Visitwong told AFP.
"We’ve had floods in certain parts of our province every year, but never this volume and the currents never this strong. We can’t even use our boats."
The Ministry of Finance assured that damages to residences, livestock, agriculture, careers, livelihoods, and infrastructure would be covered by the ministry.
The flooding came as heavy rains poured last week. It worsened the current situation of the region that has already been suffering from critical flood conditions from a series of depressions that hit Thailand since early October. This has generated water runoff in 35 provinces.
Severe weather is forecast to continue over the coming days as a powerful monsoon is prevailing over the Gulf of Thailand while a low-pressure system still covers the Strait of Malacca.
Tomorrow, Kla will send relief supplies such as food and medicine to Nakhon Sri Thammarat, which is experiencing severe floods.— KLA Party Thailand (@KLAPartyEN) December 2, 2020
If you'd like to contribute supplies, please bring them to SUSCO on Vibahavadi road by 7pm tomorrow (Thursday, Dec 3). #น้ําท่วมนครศรีธรรมราช pic.twitter.com/3qbYLsmIWy
Featured image credit: IFRC Asia Pacific