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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                   10  September 2011

Floods devastating rural Thailand

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Described as the “worst in a century,” floods in Thailand are taking lives and destroying property.

The heavy rainfall is caused by the Nock Ten tropical storm and the influence of monsoons and low pressure areas In the north central district of Uttaradit, three people have been killed with 12 missing.

A total of 346 districts in 43 provinces have been hit by floods. About 64 districts in 14 provinces remain flooded with 72 deaths reported. The total impact of the flooding have affected more than 4 million people and 3.2 million rai (hectares) of rice paddy have been damaged along with 277 roads with 31 unusable There are more then 83,000 people suffering from flood-related disease, including 1,380 diagnosed with depression.

Part of the problem is that Thailand has been deforested for at least 20 years and there is not enough forest cover to hold the rain. Logging in the country has been banned for many years.

Whether more trees could have stopped the flooding is a moot point, but this year’s rainfall has been excessive even in Bangkok. In the city, the flooding of streets has been only temporary.



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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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