Floods continue in Northeast Thailand

BANGKOK, 7 August 2017: Last week’s heavy rain and floods in Northeast Thailand will cost the country around USD300 million in damage, while the Mekong River continues to flood  and overflow into rice fields in areas surrounding popular tourist towns.

At least 23 people died in flooding in the Northeast, last week and officials warn that as the rainy season progresses more flooding could be expected.

The country is about halfway through the rainy season, which has been particularly heavy this year and could continue to be so until late September.

Thailand is the world’s second-biggest exporter of rice and the Northeast is a major grower, but the crop this year could be threatened if floods persist or spread.

According to the Minister of Interior 10 of Thailand’s 77 provinces are disaster zones. Nine of the provinces were in the Northeast and one in the central region.

In the Northeast heavy flooding continues in Sakon Nakhon, Kalasin, Nakhon Pathom, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Roi Et, Ubon Ratchathani, Nong Khai, and Ayutthaya.

More than 5,000 villages have been inundated across the Northeast.

Ayutthaya the only province in the central region on the disaster list. A popular tourist destination for day trips from Bangkok, the World Heritage site was badly damaged during the massive 2011 flood. There are now concerns that once the heavy runoff from rivers in the north reaches the Chao Phraya River in the central provinces in September, Ayutthaya’s heritage sites could once again be at risk.

The Royal Irrigation Department (RID), meanwhile, has been closely monitoring the conditions of Chi River in the North, especially with regard to the riverbank’s protection walls, which could be damaged by overflows, the Nation Newspaper reported on Sunday

Reports confirm a big volume of water flowing from the Upper Chi River and Pong River that could cause rivers to break their banks along the lower Chi River in Yasothon province over the next two days.