Worst flood in a decade in Sakon Nakhon

Requests for food and drinking water poured into Sakon Nakhon provincial hall throughout Friday (July 28) from flood victims who could not leave their houses because of the high level of flood water as troops and border patrol policemen tried to evacuate flood victims in the worst flood to hit the province in a decade.

A rescue and relief operations centre was set up at the provincial hall on Friday following an emergency meeting of agencies concerned headed by Wittaya Chanchalong, the provincial governor.

Rescue operations were focused on communities in Nong Sanom, Ban Tat Naweng and behind the Muang district municipality where flood water was measured at two metres, making it impossible for the residents to leave their houses.

The rescue and relief operations centre has started to receive requests for help from flood victims who came to make registration.

Several main roads in the district township were heavily flooded, making them impassable for small cars. Several cars were reported to have submerged.

At about 3 pm, the Sakhon Nakhon airport was shut down because it runway was flooded. Flights were also cancelled but it is expected that the airport will resume operations again tomorrow afternoon.

The provincial hospital remains operational although the hospital is flooded with water measured at 20-30 cm deep on its compound while floodwater outside is measured at about 50 cm, making it difficult for small vehicles to arrive at the hospital.

As a precaution, some patients and medical equipments were moved from the ground floor to the upper floor while power generators were made available on standby in case there is a blackout.

Public health permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon has coordinated with hospitals in nearby provinces to brace for arrival of patients from the provincial hospital in case the hospital is not operational.

About 43 communities in Sakhon Nakhon municipality were flooded which was caused by torrential rain and runoff from Phu Phan Mountain, Sakhon Nakhon governor Wittaya said.

He added that it was difficult to drain flood water out of the area as Nong Harn water retention area, located near the city, is nearly full.

Meanwhile, Thongplaew Kongchan, deputy director-general of Royal Irrigation Department, denied report in the social media that the Nam Huey Sai Kamin reservoir in Muang district had burst.

But he admitted that the water volume had exceeded capacity of the reservoir and spilled over the spillway.

Water at the other reservoir has also spilled over the embankment due to heavy rain measured at 250mm.

Mr Thongplaew expected the situation to improve in the next 1-2 days if there is no more rain as the department will accelerate the pumping of water out of the township.