Elephants haul boulders blocking waterway after heavy rain in Thailand

Villagers used elephants to haul boulders blocking a waterway after heavy rain in southern Thailand.

Locals in Phatthalung province brought three elephants to clear a river north of the Ban Khlong Lang village on December 7 morning.

The stream, which supplied water for agriculture and plumbing, had been clogged by large rocks following storms battering the province since the start of the month.

The jumbos named Chok, Tokyo, and Tukta were mobilised because the stones were reportedly too large to be moved through manpower alone. The three elephants have been living in the village for more than 20 years and have been helping transport rubber wood to Satun province before.

The clearing operations took about four days to complete.

The provincial disaster office said continuous rains in Phatthalung have been causing flash floods and river overflows since December 1. Some 9,411 households in 265 villages were affected.

One person was reported killed after a landslide buried his mountainside residence on December 2. Officials said the rain has subsided, but floods in low-lying areas still remain.

Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are now reaching the end of their tropical monsoon rainy season.

Soaring temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius are often followed by powerful tropical storms with thunder, lightning, rain and flash floods which cause rivers to flow faster and become dangerous.

Many of the under-developed nations struggle to cope with the heavy rain due to under-investment infrastructure.