At least six deaths have been blamed on Tropical Storm Podul with widespread flooding persisting today following a weekend of powerful storms.
The death count rose again Monday in the hardest-hit provinces of Khon Kaen, Roi Et and Phitsanulok, where at least six people have reportedly died of causes ranging from drowning to electrocution. Water drainage efforts are ongoing, and while the worst appeared to be over, forecasters are warning of another tropical depression sweeping in from the South China Sea along the same path.
Thousands have been left stranded by rising floodwaters.
“I’ve been sitting here watching it rain today because there’s nothing else we can do. Even though the water has decreased from last night, it’s still over our ankles while other parts of the district is even more flooded. The first floor of my house is still flooded up to our knees right now,” Panaporn “Cherry” Boontoesang of Roi Et city told Coconuts Bangkok by phone today.
— I am CB (@cherry_bb1) September 2, 2019
Rain continued to fall this morning throughout the kingdom, leaving streets, homes and entire neighborhoods flooded in the north and northeast. Government units and volunteer rescuers have been busy rendering aid since the storm front first struck Friday.
While an official death toll has yet to be published, media reports indicate most of those killed were in the northeast region of Isaan. Khon Kaen’s Ban Phai district police told Coconuts Bangkok that 20-year-old Sarawut Chanthopaeng died after being electrocuted while helping his neighbors move their belongings away from rising floodwaters. Sarawut’s family will receive THB500,000 (US$16,000) in compensation from the state.
Four others died in Ubon Ratchathani’s Kut Khaopun district, Chaiyaphum city, Phitsanulok’s Wang Thong district and Roi Et city. Meanwhile, an unidentified 55-year-old woman’s body reportedly washed up in Phichit’s Thap Khlo district on Sunday.
Panaporn said the worst days in Roi Et were Friday and Saturday, when the water rose up to her upper thighs. Though she said no one has come to evacuate her neighborhood, she said two groups of volunteers came by Sunday to give her family food and water after the water fell enough for trucks to pass through.
“I understand that we don’t need to be evacuated because I know there are neighborhoods much worse off than us,” she added.
People will need to brace for another deluge as another tropical depression is arriving today. Heavy rain and isolated downpours are expected across the north and northeast through tomorrow. Residents there are warned to prepare for flash flooding. Emergency response agencies say they’ve been moving the most-affected residents to higher ground as water pumps attempt to clear the flooding.
In Bangkok, thunderstorms are expected to hit most of the capital through next Monday.
Anyone needing assistance should contact hotline 1784 or the Irrigation Department at 1460.
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