Irrigation officials are struggling to protect the commercial heart of Hat Yai district against overflow from a canal and Songkhla Lake. The overflow has already flooded some outlying parts of Hat Yai district and nearby Bang Klam district.
The heavy flooding in Songkhla and seven other southern provinces has shown no signs of receding and the number of casualties is climbing. To date, 15 people have died in the southern floods, according to Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chayaphon Thitisak.
The flood situation is also predicted to worsen in some areas with the Southern Meteorological Centre warning of more downpours in the region’s eastern coastal areas as a new cold trough from China spreads over Thailand, triggering a strong monsoon effect in the Gulf of Thailand.
Flood prevention and mitigation officials and volunteers were racing against time to secure the business area in Hat Yai, which has so far been spared flooding.
Irrigation officials, meanwhile, have deployed water-pushing vessels in U-tapao canal, hoping to speed the drainage of flood water into Songkhla Lake. The vessels were positioned in the middle section of the canal between Hat Yai and Bang Klam districts.
However, experts said the operation is not easy because the canal is already flooded.
Draining excess water into the lake was also hampered by high tides as it runs down into the sea. However, the officials have no choice but to go ahead with the drainage as the waterside community of Bang Klam has been flooded for a week.
Almost the entire community of Moo 5 of the Laguna community, which has 100 houses, has been inundated, prompting the immediate evacuation of residents who fear the waters will remain for weeks.
Other districts near Songkhla Lake in — Ranot, Krasae Sin, Sathing Phra and Singha Nakhon — have also been battling floods which has affected more than 200,000 people across the province, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.
Apart from Songkhla, the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Phatthalung, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Trang have launched emergency responses to assist flood victims.
Since the southern flood disaster began on Nov 25, up to 1.1 million people have been declared flood victims and vast tracts of farmland and roads damaged, Mr Chayaphon said, citing the latest update on Monday. Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha is planning to visit people in flooded communities in Trang, said Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda. Source: Bangkok Post