Flash floods strand tens of thousands in Thai cities
BANGKOK, Tuesday 2 November 2010 (AFP) - Flash floods, several metres
deep in places, have swept through a major city in southern Thailand,
stranding about 100,000 residents, officials said Tuesday.
Heavy flooding has already killed more than 100 people in Thailand
since October 10, mainly in central and eastern areas, and with the
disaster spreading there are fears of more casualties.
Rising waters began to inundate Hat Yai city in Songkhla province late
Monday after days of heavy downpours, cutting power and affecting tens
of thousands of people.
"Eighty percent of Hat Yai is under flood water and 30,000 households
with 100,000 residents are stranded in their homes," Hat Yai mayor Prai
Pattano said on local television.
"At the critical point the water is three to four metres (up to 13
feet) deep," he said.
The authorities estimate that almost six million people have been
affected, with homes submerged and farmland or cattle destroyed.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva described the floods as "a huge
"I'm very concerned, especially about Songkhla province where all road
access is cut by the floods," he said.
A hospital in the region was forced to evacuate patients on Monday
after the area was hit by flash floods.
In total 104 people, including three foreigners, have died in the
disaster, which has affected dozens of provinces around the country,
although the waters have receded in some areas.
Most of the victims were in central and eastern Thailand, with just two
deaths reported so far in the south, due to electrocution.
Bangkok has been on standby but has so far avoided major flooding.