THAILAND - The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department has warned that typhoon Wutip is heading for Thailand and will bring with it heavier rainfall, and hence, worse floods.
Over the past two weeks, flooding has already ravaged 32 provinces, killing 22 people and damaging 11,400 homes, 4,265 roads, 174 bridges and 515 weirs. The situation has only returned to normal in seven provinces, though many are expected to face the wrath of the typhoon.
"Wutip will bring heavy downpours to some parts of the northeast and north," Chatchai Phromlert, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, warned yesterday. He said he was worried that flooding in many provinces would worsen. "We are closely monitoring the situation and our emergency-response teams are preparing to provide timely assistance," he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani yesterday to monitor the delivery of aid. Six deaths have been reported in Si Sa Ket so far.
On Sunday, she visited Prachin Buri - one of the hardest-hit provinces where the situation seems to have worsened despite the flood-prevention efforts taken by the Muang Prachin Buri Municipality. Early yesterday, water levels rose to about 60 centimetres on most roads, flooding shops and leaving several cars and motorcycles stalled.
However, an update released by 304 Industrial Park in Prachin Buri said the water level was high initially but things had returned to normal by Saturday evening after the water was drained. No factories in the estate were at risk of flooding, it said.
Poolsak Sutanthavibul, executive vice president of the industrial park, said the emergency response team supported by 20 water pumps and 11 backhoes were on 24-hour standby even though the estate is 20 metres above the sea level. The industrial park and the factories on the estate were providing aid and relief supplies to flood-affected residents nearby.