80,000 Affected By Thailand Floods

Serious floods in the south of Thailand have killed three people and affected tens of thousands more, causing about $10 million of damage, officials said on Sunday.

Emergency disaster zones have been declared in 34 districts across five provinces since heavy downpours began on Wednesday, according to a statement from the department of disaster prevention and mitigation.

“Since rains began on March 23, there have been floods, strong winds and landslide in several areas,” said Theera Mintrasak, governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat province, which has been hardest hit.

“There are about 30,000 families or 80,000 people affected by these floods.”

Mr Mintrasak said the three who had died included one person who was drowned and two monks killed by a landslide while they were staying at a jungle retreat.

“The initial damage is estimated at 300 million baht ($10 million),” he said on a national TV broadcast with the prime minister, adding that flights had been cancelled in the area owing to floods on the runway.

Devastating flooding across Thailand late last year left more than 220 people dead, damaging the homes or livelihoods of an estimated 8.6 million people in 51 of the kingdom’s 76 provinces.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said authorities were ready to provide aid for those affected by the latest floods.