Floods in Southern Thailand spilling over to Kelantan

Floods in Southern Thailand spilling over to Kelantan
Thai rangers battle floodwaters to distribute aid in the southern Thai province of Narathiwat.

KOTA BARU - The southern Thai provinces of Narathiwat declared all its 13 districts disaster zones, even while flood waters continued to rise in Kelantan.

Kelantan Drainage and Irrigation Department director Kamal Mustapha said floodwaters in southern Thailand were also pouring into Sungai Golok from 19 tributaries, worsening the situation in the Rantau Panjang area. Several low-lying areas in Tumpat, he said are expected to be affected by floodwaters for at least two weeks due to high water levels at Sungai Golok, in Rantau Panjang and Kuala Jambu.

He said Sungai Golok in Rantau Panjang had risen above the 9m danger level to 10.66m, while the river at Kuala Jambu, Tumpat, had risen above its 2.50m danger level to 3.42m.

"Low lying areas will have stagnant water for more than 14 days and people there will have to stay at relief centres or alternative accommodation," he said.

The high tide on Dec 6 is also expected to worsen the situation because the increased sea level will result in the river taking longer to recede.

Kamal said that in the long term a 26km bund would be built at a cost of RM300mil to stop water flow into Sungai Golok from Pengkala Kubor to Tumpat.

He added that another RM1.1bil had been allocated to build a 60km long bund, in stages, from Bukit Bunga to Tumpat.

There are 13,539 Kelantan flood victims at 100 relief centres in nine districts reports Bernama.

Pasir Mas had the highest number of victims with 8,630 from 3,588 families in 44 relief centres.

In Terengganu, the number of flood victims dropped to 1,073 people from 284 families compared to 1,244 at 10pm the night before.

Only 28 relief centres, in six districts, are still open in the state.

In Petaling Jaya, Tenaga Nasional Berhad senior general manager (operations and assets) Roslan Abd Rahman said hydroelectric dams in Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, and Sungai Perak, Perak were in perfect condition and capable of handling the high volume of water.

"We will release the water if it gets to danger levels," he said.

He added that water would also be released according to a schedule to ensure dam capacity was stable.

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