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Rains play havoc in Thailand

posted Sep 21, 2011, 2:56 AM by Dong Travel   [ updated Sep 21, 2011, 2:59 AM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]
Thailand’s Meteorological Department issued another warning, Monday, forecasting heavy rains across the country through to 23 September.

TMD said a ridge of moderate high pressure is moving from China and will extend to areas in upper Thailand.

The monsoon trough drifts across the central region meeting the southwest monsoon that prevails over the Andaman Sea, southern Thailand, and the Gulf of Thailand regions.

This will cause more rain and isolated storms in the central region, the lower Northeast and the eastern seaboard. The department warned residents living near waterways and hilly terrain of possible flash floods in areas hit by heavy rainfall.

Waves in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf of Thailand will reach a height of two to three metres making it dangerous for small boats both fishing and leisure craft used by tourists.

Two foreigners were rescued by the Royal Thai Navy yesterday near Phuket after their yacht capsised in heavy seas. They were taken by a naval vessel to Satun town with their damaged yacht in tow.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported 55 provinces across the country have suffered severe flooding after tropical storm Nock-Ten hit the country 25 July. The run-off has raised the height of the Chao Phraya River flowing through Bangkok to almost the limit, around 20 centimetres below the top of flood barriers.

However,26 provinces did not escape serious flooding resulting in the death of 112 people. The inundated provinces are Sukhothai, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon, Loei, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Si Sa Ket, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok, Tak, Sa Kaeo, and Prachin Buri.

In addition, the Royal Irrigation Department warned the resident living alongside the Chao Phraya River in Nakhon Sawan and the Lower Chao Phraya River Dam– Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Bangkok– to keep an eye on the water level and be prepared to evacuate if levels reached the top of embankments, many of them makeshift barriers erected over the last few weeks.

Popular day trip destinations for tourists staying in Bangkok such as Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In are at risk and villages and temples in some districts close to the river are already under water. But so far, trips to tourist attractions up-river have not been disrupted, although the clearance between the river and bridge arches at some locations in Bangkok hindered boats over the weekend.

Roads to the popular historical sites in Ayutthaya province are open and so far river bank flood barriers in Ayutthaya are holding although the water level is 1.5 metres higher than the riverside road. All historical sites and temples in the province are open to tourists but Ayutthaya Floating Market and roads leading to the attractions are under water.

Visitors are advised to be extremely cautious when visiting national park waterfalls or caves that can be hit by flashfloods. It is not safe to swim at any of the beach resorts on the Andaman coast particularly the west coast beaches of Phuket Island.

Travel companies should warn their clients that it is extremely dangerous to ignore red flag warnings or beach instructions issued by life guards or local officials.

Source: TTRW