Flooding in eight northern and northeastern provinces has eased, with water levels steadily receding. Meanwhile, 16 other provinces remain flooded, said government spokeswoman Mrs. Narumon Pinyosinwat on Sunday.

She noted that, while many provinces in the North and Northeast were awash with water delivered by storm Podul, 13 provinces, mostly in the lower northeastern and northern regions, remain dry and short of water.

The Friendship Highway, two kilometres of which had been heavily flooded from Kiatsin to Ban Keong intersections in Ban Phai district of Khon Kaen for the past few days, is now open as normal.

Podul, which was downgraded to a depression when it made landfall in Thailand’s northeast and eventually turned to a low pressure cell as it moved further inland, has replenished several parched reservoirs.

Mrs. Narumon said the total amount of water in Thailand’s reservoirs now was estimated at 40.2 billion cubic metres, with only 16.7 billion cubic metres usable.

The total amount of water in the reservoirs is still less than last year and the reservoirs are still capable of holding an additional of 30.7 billion cubic metres of water.

In the northern province of Phitsanuloke, park officials ordered the Thung Salaeng Luang national park temporarily closed to tourists on Saturday after the park was hit by flash floods. The park will reopen for visits after the floods recede to a safe level, said the officials.

Meanwhile in Wang Thong district of Phitsanuloke, massive water runoff has been cascading down the mountain into Wang Thong River, causing it to burst its banks and inundate the district’s commercial area.

Highway 11, from Phitsanuloke to Sak Lek, was flooded today, but it is still passable by small vehicles.  About 150 houses in Ban Din Thong, Tambon Din Thong were flooded by 1.2 metre deep water. Rescue workers have already been sent to the village to evacuate elderly people to safety.

The body of a 45-year old man, who was reportedly washed away by strong currents on Friday, was recovered today by rescue workers.

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