Heavy flooding severs road, rail links to South

Rescue workers have tried to get into Bang Saphan Hospital in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

Severe flooding in Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan has inundated the rail track, halting train services to and from the South, and also cut the Phetkasem Highway, the main artery to the region.

Power blackouts were reported in many parts of Bang Saphan district township and internet services were disrupted.

Somporn Patchimphet, chief of the provincial administration office, said heavy rain combined with high tides made it difficult to drain water out of the town, causing widespread problems.

The provincial administration had prepared food and drinking water for distribution.  The flood relief centre would be moved from Bang Saphan Hospital to Bang Saphan Withaya School for more effective operations, he said.

Mr Somporn said Bang Saphan Hospital was flooded and of much concern.  However, all patients still in the hospital were safe.  Patients and medical equipment on the ground floor had been moved to higher floors.

Sixty-five patients had been transferred to Thap Sakae and 26 to Prachuap Khiri Khan hospitals, leaving only 39 at Bang Saphan Hospital.

Mr Somporn said the situation on Phetkasem Highway was critical. One end of the southern side of the bridge across Khlong Wang Yao had been cut off by a strong current, forcing the closure of a section of the highway at kilometre marker 386.

To solve this problem, the Highways Department’s bridge centre in Pathum Thani would build a temporary bridge across the cut-off section. However, it was still not known when the Bailey bridge parts and necessary equipment would arrive.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said before attending a cabinet meeting at Government House that it was necessary to pool all resources to solve the flooding problem in Bang Saphan district.

In Songkhla province, five districts on the rim of the Songkhla Lake — Ranot, Krasae Sin, Sathing Phra, Singha Nakhon and Khuan Niang — were still heavily flooded.  The water was draining off very slowly into the Gulf of Thailand because the province was still receiving runoff from Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung.

On Tuesday morning, main roads linking the five districts were about one metre under water, making  people’s lives miserable.

Songkhla governor Songpol Sawasditham on Tuesday called a meeting of all local government offices to lay down a plan to help flood-hit people, both before and after the water has receded.

The people can also request help through the provincial Damrongtham Centre, he said.

The State Railway of Thailand on Tuesday morning announced the temporary cancellation of train services to and from destinations south of Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan stations.

Nakhon Si Thammarat airport also remained closed. 

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