One dead and more than 100,000 evacuated after floods ravage southern Thailand

One person has died and more than 100,000 people have been evacuated after severe floods hit the south of Thailand.

Heavy rain from the northeast monsoon – which has also ravaged neighbouring Malaysia – battered provinces including Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.

The body of Sulkifli Doloh, 28, was recovered by rescue teams this morning from floods Songkhla. He had been washed away by raging torrents the previous day while driving with his mother, Marie, 50, but she was saved by passers-by and taken to hospital.

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said that residents in at least 40,000 homes have been moved to safety. They said that at least 100,000 people have been affected in the region.

Flooded communities have been given water pumps survival kits, while local officials are gauging the damage to public infrastructure and people’s houses.

Officials said that rain had finally stopped by the end of Friday (Jan 7) and that water levels were receding.

However, the water levels in the Pattani river still retains the same
level and continues to flow down Pattani’s Banglang dam.

Chaiyasit Panichpong, governor of Yala, had held a meeting on managing water levels in the area. They had opened the floodgates of the Banglang dam.

Eight districts in Yala were affected but there have so far not been any reported injuries.

Twenty-four roads were affected, including five bridges and 50 large farms. Also, more than 1,500 animals were affected.

Reports claim that Yala province has suffered its highest amount of rain in 33 years.

The storms affecting southern provinces along the border with Malaysia are the result of the northeast monsoon, which hits Southeast Asia annually.

Thailand’s Meteorology Department warned of flash floods from January 4 – 8. The organisation said: ‘The strong northeast monsoon prevailing Thailand and the Gulf accompanied by the low cell over the lower South China Sea will move to cover Malaysia. Isolated heavy rain to very heavy rain is likely in the Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. People in these areas should beware of heavy rain and accumulated rain that may cause flash floods.’