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Thailand struggles with drought nationwide, mass fish deaths

Thailand continues to contend with the dry season, as cloud-seeding operations alleviate water shortages in the Northeast.

The Northeastern Royal Rainmaking Operation Center has been conducting cloud-seeding flights out of Buriram airport to increase precipitation in five provinces including Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Surin, Sisaket, and Chaiyaphum. Its 47 flights have resulted in minor to moderate rainfall in the five provinces, nourishing natural water sources and augmenting water stores for household consumption.

Meanwhile, the 12th Royal Irrigation Office reported that agricultural activities in the Chao Phraya River Basin have exceeded expectations. However, water reserves this year have been deemed sufficient for all types of usage, and the office plans to release more water for agricultural irrigation on May 1st.

In Kalasin province, farmers continued to send their crops to the local distribution center, to be sold in department stores across the province. Their crops include Chinese cabbage, spring onion, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and chili peppers. The distribution center reportedly allows local farmers to earn a steady income.

Unfortunately, the hot weather has had dire consequences for aquaculture in the southern province of Songkhla. Local farmers have reported mass fish deaths, resulting in losses of 100,000 – 800,000 baht. They believe that high water temperatures followed by sudden rainfall were to blame. Farmers are encouraged to file for government assistance through the provincial offices of Fisheries, Livestock Development, or Agriculture and Cooperatives.

NNT

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