Southern airports halt flights, flood-affected residents in Nakhon Si Thammarat rescued

Heavy rainfall in the south of Thailand has flooded 13 districts and left five dead in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport has announced that it will be closed to incoming and outgoing flights until midnight on Jan. 7 and flights have also been temporarily suspended to Samui International Airport due to flooding in the southern regions.

The State Railway of Thailand has adjusted its southern line service to end at Chumphon Station, while the seven bus routes from Bangkok to the provinces in the south that travel on highway 401 through Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang will be adjusted, causing at least an additional one to two hours in travel time due to water on the roads.

Rescue workers in Nakhon Si Thammarat have resorted to using baskets tied to ropes to rescue trapped villagers as flooding has damaged an important bridge.

Military officials have installed a rope line across Khlong Sae and begun transporting villagers using a basket after the bridge has been damaged by the flood, thereby isolating villages in the Krung Ching Subdistrict from the rest of the province, reported Thai News Bureau.

In addition to the bridge, electric and phone lines had also been damaged. The local highway department has been asked to install a new temporary bridge.

In Thung Song District, water levels have reached levels higher than 1.5 meters, flooding markets and businesses as well as the Thung Song railway station and the police department. Villagers have had to resort to traveling via boats. In Ron Phibun District, roads and railway tracks are covered with water over 50 centimeters high, disabling railway transportation.

The army is in Ron Phibun district, using large boats to evacuate villagers stranded in their homes and handing out aid packs. Military officials vowed to provide their fullest assistance until the region returns to normal conditions. In Lan Saka District, water from mountaintops has flooded Lan Saka market as well as the Lan Saka to Chandi road, crippling land transportation.

Governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province Jamroen Thippayapongthara visited Phra Phrom and Cha-uat District to survey the damage incurred in the area and to provide moral support to locals and officials.

In Cha-uat’s Tha Pracha Subdistrict, villagers have been told to evacuate, although some refused to leave their homes for fear of losing their property.

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