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Thailand’s Flood Kills Nine, Affects Thousands

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Floods have claimed at least nine lives in southern Thailand, affecting half a million people, according to officials on Thursday.

A state of emergency has been declared in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, where the deaths occurred. The youngest victim was just five years old.

Scores of homes have been destroyed and more than half a million people from 210,000 households are affected by the flood.

Almost 150,000 hectares of farmland are underwater and the region braced for even more rain.

Nakhon Si Thammarat governor, Kraisorn Visitwong told AFP, “This year is the worst we’ve seen here in 50 years.”

“We’ve had floods in certain parts of our province every year, but never this volume and the currents never this strong. We can’t even use our boats.”

The main airport remained open to flights but was surrounded by water, as military vehicles were ferrying passengers to the terminal.

Six other provinces — Narathiwat, Songkhla, Pattani, Surat Thani, Chumphon, and Phatthalung — were also experiencing flooding.

The heavy rain started a week earlier and was expected to continue over the coming days as a strong monsoon sits over the Gulf of Thailand and a low-pressure system in the Strait of Malacca.

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