THAILAND - Thunderstorms and gusty winds are expected to hit several northeastern provinces today.
At risk are Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum and Nakhon Ratchasima, according to an advisory issued by the Meteorological Department.
"Locals in these provinces should watch out as the summer thunderstorms may cause casualties and property damage," the advisory warned.
Large trees, advertising boards and insecure structures would be at risk during the storms.
In Bang Rakam, Phitsanulok, the abbot of Wang Itok Temple said a storm brought down an 80-year-old wood pavilion at the monastery on Friday night.
"About 20 nearby houses have also sustained damage," Phra Atikarn Mongkhon Maha Wuttho said.
In Kalasin, thunderstorms affected 1,253 houses and vast farmland on the same night.
"In Huay Phung district alone, more than 3,000 rai of farms are affected," district chief Somkiat Duangmaee said.
In Chai Nat, several areas have been declared disaster zones in the wake of thunderstorms and hailstorms.
Officials are in the process of surveying the damage and extending assistance to over 200 victims.
Uttaradit disaster prevention and mitigation chief Narong Inso reported that a storm hit his province early yesterday.
"It uprooted several large trees, which then blocked traffic on local roads," he said, adding that 37 houses were damaged.
While storms have wreaked havoc in several areas, drought is also a serious threat at 4,567 villages spanning over 2 million rai of land in 38 provinces, according to the Agriculture Ministry.