Military deployed, hundreds of thousands stranded in Thailand

Hundreds of thousands of people have been stranded in major flooding in Thailand’s south since January 1, 2017. Authorities reported Sunday, January 8, that at least 19 people have died and that military forces have been deployed to cope with massive flooding. The worst is not over yet, meteorologists warned.

The floods have ravaged 10 provinces in the region since the new year, with only Yala and Ranong seeing the situation easing, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.

In some villages, the water level has reached roof height. Bridges have collapsed in some districts of Nakhon Si Thammarat province, leaving more than 10 000 villagers stranded, the Anadolu Agency reported.

“A major effort is required to ensure people are moved to higher ground and receive food and medical supplies,” junta spokesman Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd told the Bangkok Post. The armed forces have opened command centers, under the responsibility of military officers, in flood-ravaged areas in order to coordinate rescue and relief efforts.

“Each center chief will play a role in setting up units which will be deployed to assist in emergency operations,” said Kaewkamnerd.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Director, Gen. Chatchai Promlert, said Sunday that 19 people had died and one is still missing.

Local media reported hundreds of thousands of people had been stranded in their homes. Around 700 000 people have been affected.


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