Thailand issues new weather warnings as rain hampers flood recovery

BANGKOK, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Thai authorities issued flash flood warnings for eight southern provinces on Monday ahead of further rains expected this week, with areas in nearly 40% of the country’s provinces still inundated and facing flooding. of flood.

The warning relates to the resort island of Phuket, where a flash flood on Sunday disrupted local transport and tourist businesses in some areas. Marines from the island’s main city were seen carrying elderly people on their backs through the streets, knee-deep in brown water.

Heavy rains and tropical storms since last month have caused flooding in 59 of Thailand’s 77 provinces, affecting 450,000 homes, according to the Interior Ministry.

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Floods in northeast and central Thailand – key agricultural regions – have damaged 670,000 rai (107,200 hectares) of farmland, the agriculture ministry said last week.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has asked the country’s authorities to deploy boats and vehicles to help reconnect people cut off by the floods and provide assistance where possible.

Last week, the cabinet earmarked a budget of 23 billion baht ($602.09 million) for flood relief and rehabilitation.

In neighboring Malaysia, authorities have issued rain warnings for Sabah, Sarawak Labuan on the island of Borneo due to Tropical Storm Nesat.

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Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat in Bangkok and Rozanna Latiff in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Martin Petty

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