UBON RATCHATHANI — Netizens are pouring their support to a northeastern province, more than half of whose area is under floodwaters as of Thursday.
The hashtag #SaveUbon was the top trending hashtag on Thai Twitter on Thursday in an effort by locals to raise awareness and share updates on the flooding situation, which is paralyzing the province as major roads are cut.
“Let’s get #SaveUbon to the top of the chart, so the government can see our hardship and come to help us,” reads Pheu Thai MP Chuvit Pitakpornpunlup’s tweet.
The worst flood to hit the province in a decade is inundating 15 out of the 25 districts of Ubon Ratchathani, as water levels in the Mun River are rising rapidly at an average of one centimeter per hour.
The river overflowed in areas throughout the watershed, including the provincial city. Water levels has been measured at 10.83 meters, or six centimeters higher than the record peak in 2002.
“The flood is affecting us badly, but why the doesn’t the government help? Many houses are now submerged and Warin [Chamrap] District has been cut off from the city,” @kpkimmm tweeted on Thursday. “They sent everything they had to rescue the 13 Wild Boar, but no one cares about the whole of Ubon being immersed in water.”
“This flood is really the worst. I had to take a 30-kilometer detour to reach the airport because the major road is cut off. I don’t understand why news isn’t breaking about this,” reads another tweet by @lek_2010.
“The water levels are getting higher and higher. While the people are evacuating, there are no official announcements. News can only be heard from social media, which many don’t use,” reads a tweet by @SaveU9s.
On Tuesday, governor Sarit Withoon declared 17 districts as disaster zones and allocated 200,000 baht to each district for immediate disaster recovery operations, while Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha also made a brief visit to the province on Monday.
Thaweesak Thanadecho, deputy chief of the Royal Irrigation Department said the flood is caused by downpours from the Podul and Kajiki storms that hit the region earlier this month. As the water from northern parts of the region would naturally flows into the Mekong River through Mun River, it accumulated and eventually spilled over.
Ubon Ratchathani’s disaster mitigation office reported that more than 33,606 households have been affected by the floods. A “war room” has also been set up to monitor water levels and coordinate rescue efforts.