Thailand floods

Flooding from heavy rains hammering Thailand’s south has left at least 18 people dead and thousands of villages partially submerged.

The flooding, which was roof-high in some areas, has affected nearly one million people in 10 southern provinces since it started a week ago, according to the country’s interior ministry.

At least 18 people had died and one was missing, the government said, with the rains turning roads into rivers, inundating farmland and damaging more than 1,500 schools in the region.

The downpour was expected to persist for at least two more days, according to Thailand’s meteorological department, which warned of flash floods.

The monsoon rains are unusually heavy for this time of year in Thailand, which normally sees a three-month stretch of relatively dry and cool weather starting in November.

It is high season for tourists who flock to the kingdom’s island resorts.

But the deluge disrupted beach holidays in several traveller hot spots, including the popular islands of Samui and Phangan.

Hundreds of tourists had their flights delayed, while train and bus services on the mainland were suspended.

By Saturday the number of evacuees in Kelantan and Terengganu had dropped to about 13,500, from almost 23,000 on Wednesday, as weather conditions improved and authorities forecast less rainfall over the weekend.

Theguardian. 8 January 2017. At least 18 dead in Thailand floods. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/08/at-least-18-dead-from-flooding-in-thailand-and-malaysia