Thai flood death toll hits 122

The death toll from Thailand`s crippling floods has risen to over 120, officials said on Thursday, after the weeks-long crisis spread south and affected tens of thousands more people, including tourists.

Last Updated: Nov 04, 2010, 19:54 PM IST

Bangkok: The death toll from Thailand`s
crippling floods has risen to over 120, officials said on Thursday,
after the weeks-long crisis spread south and affected tens of
thousands more people, including tourists.

Rising waters began to inundate the southern region late
Monday after days of heavy downpours, leaving eight dead in
Songkhla province, two in Pattani and one each in Satun and
Surat Thani provinces.
Thousands of soldiers have been dispatched to the area to
help people stranded in their homes after flash floods swept
through Hat Yai, a city of more than 150,000 people.

A further three people were also killed in northern
areas, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
said Thursday, bringing the total nationwide toll to 122.

In addition, the bodies of eight Thai fishermen were
found floating off the coast of Pattani after their fishing
trawler capsized on Monday night in rough seas, local police
said.

So far more than six million people have been affected by
the kingdom`s floods, with homes submerged and farmland or
cattle destroyed, in what Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has
described as "a huge natural calamity".
Waters have receded in most parts of Hat Yai, a city
popular with tourists from Singapore and Malaysia.

But more than 100 foreign visitors remained stranded in
their hotels early today, according to the Tourism Authority
of Thailand.

The government has sent two naval ships to the southern
region to provide medical and logistical support for the
relief operation.

Yesterday, marine police boats rescued about 100 Thai and
foreign tourists from Koh Tao, a popular holiday island in
Surat Thani province, after they were stranded for half a day,
local tourist official Panu Woramit said.

Nearby Koh Samui airport was operating again normally
after a closure due to the bad weather, he added.

Fifty of Thailand`s 76 provinces have been affected by
the floods but the high waters have subsided in 19 of these,
officials said. Bangkok has been on standby but has so far
avoided major flooding.

PTI