CHIANG Mai is on a disaster alert all this rainy season after a weir collapsed and forest runoffs and landslides hit four districts, INN News said today (July 18).
Phuthipong Sirimart, deputy governor of Chiang Mai, said heavy rain brought by tropical storm Talas led to many areas having to be more vigilant with an example being Fang district which got over 90 millimeters of rain.
For this reason he has ordered all districts to be extra careful and not take any risks because any area could face problems and to use both scientific and native knowledge in resolving difficulties.
Thana Nualplod, head of Strategic and Management Division, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said rain being dumped by this tropical storm is now weakening but all districts have to beware of forest runoffs and landslide. District officials have been told to focus on risky routes which could be obstructed by land or rock slides, trees collapsing and sinkholes.
Chiang Mai has 919 villages in 178 subdistricts at risk of floods with 249 villages being at highest risk. Fang, Mae Ai and Chai Prakarn districts have been getting heavy downpours with a weir in Mae Ai which was only completed in February collapsing and many villages and schools getting flooded.
Meanwhile the Thai Meteorological Department said the tropical depression Talas has been downgraded to a low pressure cell and has now moved to Myanmar while the southwesterly monsoons are also weakening.
This means there will now be less rain but there will continue to be heavy downpours is some areas of the North, the Central and the East.
The weathermen warned the public to continue to be careful of severe weather conditions that could possibly trigger flash floods until tomorrow (July 19).
Top and inset: Bad floods in Chiang Mai today. Photo: INN News