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Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday urged all Thais to help people in the flood-stricken southern provinces where flooding remain critical in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
He also warned authorities to hand out flood aids with transparency, and all steps be free from corruption.
The prime minister made the call as he flew to inspect the flooded district of Tak Bai in Narathiwat province along with key government officials to follow up on the flood situation and the rescue operations in the area.
He said that his visit is considered one of his promises to take best care of the southern province of Thailand, and he will further discuss the flood situation with related sectors to find a solution for the situation, one that will not cause another problem after the existing is solved, as well as an effect relief effort.
The prime minister also distributed the survival bags to affected people.
He also expressed his concern for the safety and well-being of the Malaysian people who are also affected by the floods.
During the visit, he asked the people to refrain from inciting political tensions in the area.
Tak Bai district is said to suffer severest flooding.
Its chief district officer Somsak Sithiworakarn said that 13,279 persons from 4,432 households in 52 villages of 8 sub-districts in Tak Bai district has been affected by the flood, and the 8 sub districts have been designated as disaster areas where relief operations are urgent.
He said that this year’s southern flooding situation is considered the biggest and the most severe in 47 years, with the current water level at 2.4 meters above than the riverbank.
In wake of the flooding crisis, the flood disaster operations administration center of the Tak Bai district has been working with the local administrative organisation, army and police units, and the government agencies to solve the urgent problems and to provide initial assistance to the public by making sure that the people and their belongings are safe and nobody suffers from starvation.
Meanwhile the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department Director General Chatchai Promlert said 13 people have been killed in flooding in eight southern provinces since December 14 while five others injured.
The eight provinces are Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Trang.
Deputy Interior Minister Suthi Makbun said the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department would speed up efforts to alleviate the flood victims.