Pattaya reels under floods

The Nation/ANN

The severe flooding that has inundated Pattaya and much of Chon Buri's Bang Lamung district in the wake of tropical storm Vamco was made worse by encroachment of public canals and waterway banks, the deputy mayor of Pattaya said Thursday.

Weerawat Khakhai said the heavy rains in the low-lying seaside resort contributed to the unusual flooding, but it was exacerbated by encroachment on waterways and canals such as Klong Nok Yang, Klong Kratinglai and Klong Na Kleu, which prevented the water from draining into the sea.

Overnight rain in Pattaya triggered floods that inundated homes and resorts while roads in Bang Lamung were badly hit, especially sections of highway No 331.

Government Spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha had urged agencies to help affected people, especially those in Chon Buri as well as parts of the deeply flooded 7th motorway.

Tourism in Pattaya is expected to drop by 20-30 per cent this weekend due to the heavy rains, according to the Eastern Chapter of the Thai Hotels Association.