1,300 Homes Razed by Tropical Storm Sinlaku, PM Orders Help

Aftermath of Sinlaku storm in Trang province on Aug. 3, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) on Tuesday reported that tropical storm Sinlaku has swept through the north and northeast of Thailand, bringing downpours and floods to over 1,300 households in 10 provinces.

The DDPM said that a total of 1,399 households located in 24 districts in the 10 provinces in the north and northeast were affected by flash floods from Saturday until Tuesday.

The Thai Army has been on a rescue mission, evacuating residents to higher grounds since last Saturday.

The flood situation in the northern province was so severe that the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) had since Monday, ordered all mobile operators to ensure service quality and maintain cellular signal quality in the province to make rescue operations possible.

Sinlaku has also brought heavy rains and flash floods to many villages in Loei Province, northeast Thailand, submerging around 550 households and damaging farmland. No injuries or deaths were reported.

Meanwhile in Phitsanulok, another province in the northeast, the body of a school principal has been found stuck to a tree trunk in Khan River where flash floods occurred. His body has been transported to hospital for autopsy to determine the cause of death.

According to the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD), Sinlaku will on Tuesday night lose momentum but will still bring heavy rain and flooding in some areas. 

PM Calls for Urgent Relief Measures

 Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday instructed authorities to help flood victims in several provinces affected by tropical storm Sinluka.

The prime minister confirmed he has ordered the authorities, especially those in the northern provinces of Chiang Mai and Nan, the northeastern province of Loei and the central province of Phitsanulok to urgently take relief measures for villagers affected by torrential rains and flash floods due to the tropical storm.

The prime minister has ordered army units based in those provinces to join the provincial authorities in taking relief measures for the affected villagers, especially those who are yet to be evacuated from the flooded low-lying areas to high terrains.

However, Prayut advised the authorities should manage to keep the floodwater somewhere for use by farmers who might probably encounter a drought situation in the following months.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda on Monday visited some of the flooded areas in Loei province and held a meeting with government officials to put the flooding situation under control.