Deadly Floods Hits Southern Thailand
Heavy floods in south of Thailand have killed at least 96 people and affected more than 1.8 million people from 590,000 families have been affected. The floods have damaged 4,314 roads, 348 bridges, 70 government offices and 2,336 schools. Thailand’s wet season usually ends in late November and heavy rain and flooding are rare in January. Unseasonably heavy rain has hit 12 out of 67 provinces.
Damages are expected to hit 27 billion baht, with rubber production accounting for 19 billion baht and tourism accounting for 4 billion baht. The rest of the losses go to the palm oil business, fisheries and shrimp farming. Thailand is a major rubber-producing country, accounting for 37 percent of the world’s natural rubber supply.
The monsoon rains are unusually heavy for this time of year in Thailand, which normally sees a three-month stretch of relatively dry and cool weather starting in November. It is high season for tourists who flock to the kingdom’s island resorts.
But the deluge disrupted beach holidays in several traveller hot spots, including the popular islands of Samui and Phangan. Hundreds of tourists had their flights delayed, while train and bus services on the mainland were suspended. Some travelers refused to let the storm stop the fun, coasting through flooded streets on pool floats and sipping drinks.
Southern Thailand is a major rubber-producing area and the floods have come at a particularly bad time for farmers. This the worst impact in that area in 10 years. The floods are very heavy. The problem is this year that area had both drought and flooding so it has been disastrous for rubber farmers.
Rubber prices would increase this year because demand is set to exceed supply because of China high demand.
The heavy rains are unusual for this time of year in Thailand which is considered, a peak tourist season of dry and cool weather which disrupted that high season especially in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.