Residents check the strength of a raised walkway through their community around Wat Thewarat Kunchorn in Dusit district of Bangkok on Thursday as they race against time to beat the rising Chao Phraya River due to the influence of Storm Noru. The wooden walkway was built jointly by the district office, the army and Jitr Arasa volunteers.
Tropical depression Noru, formerly a super typhoon, has left four northeastern provinces awash, with one person dead and two others injured as it reached the upper section of Thailand on Thursday, said the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
The storm has set off emergency alarms in 17 provinces in the North, Northeast and Central Plains, which have all braced for the risk of heavy flooding in the days to come.
From Wednesday night till Thursday morning, much of Amnat Charoen, Si Sa Ket, Yasothon and Ubon Ratchathani experienced torrential rainfall and unrelenting thunderstorms that led to floods, said the department’s update released Thursday morning.
Several main roads in these provinces were swamped, making them impassible, said the department, adding that strong winds had knocked down trees on roads and obstructed public transportation routes in five districts across the four provinces.
Surging floods were reported in Muang and Lue Amnat districts of Amnat Charoen, Muang district of Si Sa Ket, Muang district of Yasothon, and Muang district of Ubon Ratchathani, according to the department.
In Si Sa Ket, one person was killed and two injured when a large tree toppled by a strong wind fell onto the pick-up they were travelling in, said the department.
As of 11am Thursday the depression was centred in Chaturaphak Phiman district of Roi Et with a wind speed of 50 kilometres per hour, said Chomparee Chompurat, director-general of the Department of Thai Meteorology. The storm was heading west and is expected to weaken further to a trough, she added.
Despite the downgrade, the storm still packed intensity, which when coupled with the impact of the southwest monsoon will continue bringing more rain to all parts of the country, especially the North and Northeast where strong winds are also forecast in the days ahead, she said.
Ubon Ratchathani province recorded more than 100 millimetres of precipitation from Wednesday night until Thursday morning in all districts as water levels in the Mun River, its main waterway, looked set to increase by one to two metres.
A total of 1,518 households in 46 communities in this northeastern province have already been evacuated to safety.