Much of Thailand faces a continued lashing today from Tropical Storm Sinlaku, which dropped massive amounts of rain across the North and Northeast even before it made landfall in Vietnam Sunday.
Loei Province took the brunt of the flooding Sunday, although homes were inundated and roads washed out in Chiang Mai, Phayao and Nong Bua Lam Phu and heavy seas sunk a ferry off Koh Samui and forced closure of the Ang Thong Islands National Marine Park until Aug. 5.
Sinlaku made landfall in Vietnam around 10 a.m. Sunday as a Category 3 topical storm with maximum sustained winds of about 65 kilometers an hour. The storm was moving west-northwest at 15 km. an hour and was downgraded to a tropical depression over Laos.
The storm, in conjunction with a strong monsoon trough lying across the North and the upper Northeast and the southwest monsoon over the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, brought torrential rain to many areas of the North, Northeast, Central, East and South and will continue to do so through Aug. 5.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered relief and rescue units sent to Loei to help flood victims and evacuate those with inundated homes.
Flash floods swept through several villages in Muang and Pak Chom districts forcing the evacuation of 300 of 800 residents in villages in Smok Nam Subdistrict around 5 a.m. Saturday. Mayor Charoon Panich mobilized volunteers to help people moved valuables to dry land.
Areas in Ban Ban Moo 9, Soi Charoen Suk and Moo 1, Nam Suay Subdistrict, Mueang District also were devastated.
In the South, a Phuket school teacher died when storm-powered winds downed a tree that fell through the roof of the instructors’ dormitory at Thairath Wittaya 29 School in Kathu District.
Up North, ten homes in Phayao’s Mae Ka Subdistrict were damaged by flooding. Up to eight straight hours of rain washed out roads and left homes underwater in Muang, Pong and Chiang Muan districts.
Fourteen villages in Nong Bua Lam Phu suffered damage and local officials frantically used heavy machinery to dredge and widen natural storm-drainage canals.
Chiang Mai sustained more washed-out roads that put Highway 118 ouf of action in several places. Also made impassable were Mae Chedi, Wiang Pa Pao, Chiang Rai between kilometer markers 32 and 33.