Ranong faces more floods, landslides

Large parts of Ranong province were flooded yesterday after a heavy downpour.

Ranong residents will be bracing for more floods and landslides today and tomorrow.

"We have issued warnings because our province is still under a low-pressure ridge," Ranong disaster-prevention-and-mitigation chief Chaowalit Nitararat said yesterday.

He was speaking after landslides spilled onto the Phetkasem Road in more than 10 spots.

Ranong's assistant highway chief Arthon Kuasin said the landslides came in the wake of a heavy downpour and that machines had been deployed to remove the landmass from the road.

"Drivers should be careful," he said.

Flash floods have already swamped many communities in Ranong's La-un district, affecting more than 100 residents.

Colonel Chalermporn Khamkhieo, chief of the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, said 90 soldiers had been dispatched to help flood victims.

In the North, flooding has already wreaked havoc in many areas. In Lamphun, the Mae Tha, Ban Thi, Pa Sang, Li and Thung Hua Chang districts had been declared disaster zones. Up to 40,481 people in 116 villages were inundated. Fortunately there have been no reports of casualties.

In Phitsanulok, disaster-prevention-and-mitigation chief Boonying Khumsuphan warned people in Wat Bote, Chat Trakan, Nakhon Thai, Noen Maprang and Wang Thong districts to beware of possible flash floods and mudslides.

"Run-off water is flowing down to our province and now there's heavy rain as well," he said.

The Meteorological Department forecast downpours in many zones across the country until today. Most of Bangkok and its adjacent provinces will face thundershowers and rain.

Although the rains have not flooded the capital, traffic congestion brought many major roads in Bangkok to a standstill yesterday morning.

FM 91 Traffic Pro radio station received reports of serious congestion on Vibhavadi-Rangsit, Paholyothin, Ram-Indra, Chaengwatthana, Ngamwongwan, Chaiyapruek, Ratchadaphisek, Serithai, Ramkhamhaeng, Rama IX and Srinakharin roads all morning. Traffic on several expressways such as Bang Na-Bon Kai also came to a standstill, and only began to ease in the afternoon.

The station said 49 road accidents had been reported in Bangkok and its adjacent provinces yesterday, killing two and injuring 37 others.

The weather bureau also warned boatmen to beware of rough weather in the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea over the next couple of days.

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