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Thai officials slammed by flood victims

Thai officials slammed by flood victims

Local officials and the Thai government have been slammed by flood victims desperate for help and assistance after 4 months of suffering.

Lack of warning blamed as central and northeast residents continue to suffer from lack of housing and shortages

RESIDENTS IN flood-hit provinces in the Central and Northeast regions continue to face serious difficulties and are requesting aid, while some blame authorities for failing to warn them about the scope of the crisis.

About 500 families in Tambon Tha Din Daeng of Ayutthaya province’s Phak Hai district have endured floods for more than four months and are in need of aid, especially portable toilets, said Natthaporn Mongkolroy, president of the tambon administrative organisation.

Floodwaters were stable yesterday after the Royal Irrigation Department decreased discharges into the Noi River by 50 cubic metres per second, but many families had to evacuate to a temporary shelter at Wat Tha Din Daeng.

Suchat Nuanchawee, 60, said floodwaters had reached the second floor of his house. “Only 30 centimetres more and it would be at the same level as the devastating flood in 2011,” he said.

Boonsom Khamsa-ard, 61, said the flooding had prevented her and fellow villagers from working and they were faced with inadequate toilet facilities.

Ayutthaya Governor Sujin Chaichumsak said the province’s nine districts were flooded, with Phak Hai, Sena, Bang Ban, Bang Sai, Bang Pahan and Muang Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya submerged for more than four months, affecting 55,851 households. Ten people have died in the province as a result of the flooding.

Sujin said the province’s seven water-retention fields covering 553,339 rai (88,534 hectares) were holding 1.23 billion cubic metres of water, or 118.58 per cent of combined manageable capacity. Officials were working to provide aid to affected people and survey the damage, he said.

In Angthong’s Pa Mok district, flood victims have taken up odd jobs to tend their families. Saifon Nikornpan, 52, said her family, which cultivates bananas, fled their flooded home to stay in a roadside tent where she sells fried bananas.

“We are suffering and don’t know when the flood will recede,” she said, urging the government improve its control efforts.

Samreung Mekmok, 65, and her family were also staying in a roadside tent where she makes joss ticks.

She pleaded for help from authorities and said the government should tell the public the truth. “The news said the floodwaters weren’t very bad, then came a huge deluge hitting us faster than in 2011,” she said.

In Pathum Thani’s Muang and Sam Khok districts, 4,000 homes outside flood barriers’ protection were submerged as residents called for aid.

Sombat Songsan, 49, whose home was inundated for two months, said she had not moved her belongings as authorities had said there would not be flooding. She said she had lost her belongings and been bitten by a centipede.

In the Northeast, 1,200 students at Phutthaisong School in Buri Ram’s Phutthaisong district are being forced to attend school in 20 rented tents. Three two-storey school buildings were severely damaged due to prolonged flooding and deemed unsafe and beyond repair, district chief Nimit Patamacharoen said yesterday.

School director Prachai Pornsa-ngakul is requesting 12 temporary classroom buildings to be used until a new construction budget for two new buildings is approved.

Source: Nation

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