Tropical depression downgrades, few days of light rain forecast for Bangkok. At least seven provinces, mostly in the Northeast, are under water due to rain that has continued for several days under the influence of a tropical depression.
As of press time, the depression had downgraded to a low-pressure cell but was still expected to bring more downpours. With the cell reaching the Central region, Bangkok will also be hit with rain for the next few days.
Chatchai Phromlert, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, said yesterday that 54 tambons in Surin, Kalasin, Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani, Phitsanulok, Ayutthaya and Angthong were under water.
"We have deployed rapid response teams to help the victims," he said.
More than 7,000 residents in Si Sa Ket are now flooded, with Governor Prateep Keeratirekha saying Khun Han district has been hit the hardest.
In Surin, the Ban Truat School in Sri Narong district reported that water levels were rising so fast that some 20 students had been left stranded.
"The floodwater is over a metre high. Small vehicles can't travel around anymore. So, we need to contact relevant authorities to provide a military truck that can give the children a safe ride home," teacher Teetat Phuttiteerawong said.
The Meteorological Department has announced that the low-pressure cell hovering over the Central region will bring rain to Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Saraburi, Lop Buri, Ang Thong, Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya and Bangkok.
Nakhon Ratchasima has been hit with floods after a few days of heavy rain.
"Things happened so fast. At around 9am, a rush of water broke down the wall surrounding our housing estate and flood waters started rushing in," Supoj Kongsupa, a board member of Krissada Garden Village, said yesterday.
Flood levels went well over the metre mark in an hour, forcing residents to call for help.
The Second Army Area sent in five military trucks to evacuate the stranded victims.
Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, meanwhile, has assured Bangkokians that they should not worry about floods. "There's no sign of a crisis," he said.
Adisak Khantee, director of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administra-tion's Department of Drainage and Sewerage, said Bangkok would continue being hit by rain over the next few days, but it would only be light.
"The areas hit by rain will also gradually reduce. Rain will cover 70 per cent of the capital over the weekend and then reduce to 60 per cent on Monday," he said.
Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute director Royol Chitradon, who leads a subcommittee of the Water and Flood Management Commission, also said with flood-prevention measures taken since early this month, the situation in Bangkok should be under control.
Relevant authorities are now closely monitoring the storm Usagi, which is moving towards Hong Kong, to see if it will hit Thailand.