At least 19 have been killed in Thailand this past week following unseasonably heavy rains which have ravaged the country.
The Interior Ministry says the disaster, triggered by a downpour that has hammered the region since New Year’s day, has affected more than 330,000 households.
An airport in the main southern city of Nakhon Si Thammarat was closed for 4 days due to the heavy rains. Authorities also suspended train services across much of the region.
This of course has also impacted resort destinations such as Phuket and Krabi which normally is crowded with foreign tourists in January thanks to the dry season and pleasant weather. But many people have reportedly changed or canceled their plans.
A Thai research institute estimates damage to the tourism and farming industries will top 2.3 billion dollars.
This recent heavy rainfall is really thanks to the north east monsoon but also a tropical low developing west of Thailand enhancing moisture flow over the country. Just in the past 24hrs PRACHUAP KHIRIKHAN, Thailand south of Bangkok received 267mm of rainfall certainly contributing to the floods.
The heavy rains should continue to Wednesday before tapering off as the tropical low in the Bay of Bengal lifts north and towards Burma.