11 July 2024

Thailand’s north-eastern, eastern and central regions, including Bangkok and its peripherals, will see more rain, with isolated heavy showers and strong winds, as a result of tropical storm Sonca, which made landfall in Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province at 4am today (Saturday).

The Thai Meteorological Department said that the storm, packing wind speeds of 65kph at its centre, has been moving west towards Sekong province in Laos at a rate of 20kph and will, eventually, weaken to a tropical depression and then a low pressure cell.

The provinces in Thailand’s northeast, which are expected to see heavy rain today, are Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

People living at the base of mountains or close to waterways are advised to brace for flash floods or overflows from rivers or creeks.

The Weatherman warned of waves of between 1-2 metres, and higher in stormy areas, in the southern part of the Gulf of Thailand, as it advised vessels to exercise caution while navigating stormy areas.

In Ubon Ratchathani province, which has been hardest hit by the flooding, many of those affected are concerned that the flooding may last until the end of this year, in wake of the expected heavy rain from tropical storm Sonca.

Phinit Pongming, a resident of Nam Mun Noi, who has taken temporary refuge at an evacuation centre at the Mun Noi Bridge, told Thai PBS reporters that, in the heavy flooding three years ago, floodwater on roads had receded enough that he could walk on them by mid-October, but the situation this year is worse and there are no signs when he will be able to return to his home.

The water level in the Mun River dropped by 2cm today, to 11.49 metres, at the Democracy Bridge, but more rain is expected as a result of tropical storm Sonca.

A public disaster relief official of Muang District’s municipality said that the municipal administration has been trying to send more mobile toilets to the evacuation centres as several evacuees have complained of a lack of facilities.

About 3,000 people are currently taking temporary shelter at 16 evacuation centres which, according to municipal officials, can to cope with the situation. About 2,000 lunch boxes have been distributed each day to the evacuees.

More than 100,000 sand bags have been distributed to residents in the Muang district since tropical storm Noru hit the northeast in late September.