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Reporting from Hat Yai, Songkhla Thailand


Heavy rain, flash floods hit SouthIn Hat Yai, some tourists were stranded in their hotels after roads were cut off. In Narathiwat, some residents are getting about on flooded streets by boat.


Weather forecasters have warned the flooding could affect up to six southern provinces.


Hat Yai municipality has ordered an evacuation amid heavy rainfall, which has also triggered flash floods in 12 Songkhla districts as well as other parts of the deep South.


Hat Yai mayor Phrai Phatthano said floodwater from Sadao district was likely to rise to 1.2 metres high.


Floodwaters inundated parts of the municipality yesterday amid fears it could also penetrate the downtown area.


Residents were told to take their belongings and vehicles out of the area immediately. The municipality had raised red signal flags, which signify an evacuation.


Among the eight areas is Chanwirot community. It is the front line before water enters inner Hat Yai where the commercial area is located.


Local officials have built a wall of sandbags to protect core areas.


One resident, identified as Fakmeng Sae Jia, 54, reportedly drowned after being unable to leave his flooded house in tambon Phatong in Hat Yai district.


A pre-dawn torrent from the Banthat mountain tore through Moo 1, 2 and 7 of tambon Chalung in Hat Yai, hitting residents' cars and other belongings.


Hat Yai and Sadao have been hardest hit by the flooding with a section of Kanchanawanit road in Ban Luk Thung under one metre of water.


The road which links the two districts could no longer take traffic, and transport to Sadao was cut off.


Many tourists from Malaysia and Singapore who celebrated the New Year in Hat Yai have been left stranded in hotels because they cannot use the road to Sadao, which borders northern Malaysia.


Train transport between Hat Yai and Padang Besa stations in Sadao is also closed because water has flooded a section of railway in Phatong municipality in Hat Yai.


Other flooded districts in Songkhla include Muang, Chana, Na Thawi, Na Mom, Saba Yoi, Khlong Hoi Khong, Bang Klam, Thepha, Singha Nakhon and Sathing Phra.


Meanwhile, overnight rainfall in Songkhla, Phatthalung, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat has resulted in flash floods.


In Phatthalung's Kong Ra district, eight hikers have not been heard from since Saturday night. The group went into a forest on the Banthat mountain range to view the "sea of mist" on Khao Lon mountain on Saturday morning. Their friends staying at a village at the foot of the mountain said they had been unable to contact them.


In Yala, residents of Muang, Raman and Yaha districts scrambled to take their belongings to safety to escape the floods.


Overflow from the Pattani River inundated roads, affecting more than 10 communities in Yala municipality.


Yala governor Detrat Simsiri inspected flooded areas in the municipality and the main pumping station yesterday.


Officials found "some flaws" in the flood prevention system at the station, he said. However, they were told to fix the problems and increase water pumps.


Flooding was also serious in Raman with some spots in Moo 1 of tambon Yaha under one metre of water.


In Yaha, motorists could not use the Yaha-La-ae, Yaha-Ban Kue Tae and Yaha-Patae roads due to high flood waters.


In tambon Patae, a mudslide was reported.


Water rose to 50-70cm in eight districts of Narathiwat, with farmland, communities and main streets hit by floods.


Some families in Sungai Padi district were forced to use boats on some flooded streets.


Other troubled districts in Narathiwat were Chanae, Si Sakhon, Cho Airong, Bacho, Rueso, Sukhirin and Muang.


Many districts are having difficulty draining water from canals because weeds are clogging them up.


Meanwhile, water levels in the Sungai Kolok, Bang Nara and Sai Buri rivers in the province were increasing last night with increasing mountain run-off.


In Pattani, many roads in 12 districts were flooded.


Officials of Pattani municipality also warned communities near the Pattani River to take their animals and belongings to safety as the run-off from Yala into the river raised fears of overflow.


Southerners, especially those living by the sea and in low-lying areas, were told to brace for further rainfall until tomorrow, said Wiboon Sanguanpong, chief of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.


The torrential rain in the deep South is caused by the combined effects of the northeastern monsoon in the Gulf of Thailand and a low pressure cell covering northern Malaysia, according to the Yala meteorology station.


Officials and residents should closely monitor weather conditions in Songkhla, Phatthalung, Yala, Narathiwat, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Pattani, said station chief Surayut Iamsa-at.



Edited by PaLmEr



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Most tourists have left town in the past 24 hours and more than 80% of shops are packed up and closed in preparation for potential flooding. Main road from Sadao Border to Hat Yai was impassable to traffic as of yesterday 2012-01-02.



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Images by myself 2012-01-01



Workers building sandbag walls.



Workers building sandbag walls



Store shelves wiped out of basic essentials like drinking water and bread







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  • 2 months later...

Car bomb caused deadly Thai hotel fire


BANGKOK: A deadly fire at a hotel in southern Thailand was caused by a car bomb planted by suspected insurgents, the national police chief said in remarks televised on Sunday.


The fire killed three people, including a Malaysian tourist, and injured hundreds of others, according to a revised toll given by the provincial governor.


It came on the same day as deadly bomb blasts killed 10 people elsewhere in the region.


"Yes it was a car bomb and it's related to the incident (bombs) in Yala and I believe that it was the work of the same group. The vehicle used was a Honda," national police chief General Priewpan Damapong said.


The fire Saturday at the Lee Gardens Hotel in Hat Yai, the largest city in southern Thailand, was initially thought to have been caused by a gas explosion in the basement.


The death toll was revised downwards after two people believed to be dead were resuscitated, Songkhla provincial governor Grisada Boorach said.


A total of 416 people were injured, mostly suffering from smoke inhalation, and 140 were still in hospital, he said.


The hotel attack came as two bombs in the southern town of Yala killed 10 people and wounded 117.


Colonel Pramote Promin, spokesman for the southern army region, said 29 people were still in hospital.


The blasts hit minutes apart in the centre of Yala around midday as families were out shopping, in the most deadly attack in recent years in the Muslim-majority south of mainly Buddhist Thailand.


A complex insurgency, without clearly stated aims, has plagued Thailand's far south near the border with Malaysia since 2004, claiming thousands of lives, both Buddhist and Muslim, with near-daily bomb or gun attacks.







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  • 2 years later...

For those heding north to southern Thailand pls be aware of the situation there n make sure u r insured.





good luck.

Simon Soh

It's not the destination we conquered but ourselves.


Chiang Saen, Land of Golden Triangle


26th Dec 05' - 9th Jan 06' Northern Thailand Trip

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