SEVERE flooding in the South is threatening plantations of the country’s famous pomelo fruit that have been under water for more than 10 days.
Many Siamese Ruby pomelo trees at farms in Nakhon Si Thammarat have died. The citrus fruit earns the country as much as Bt1 billion in exports each year.
The flood situation was still severe in certain areas yesterday as the water level failed to recede due to a high sea tide and poor drainage. As a result, many pomelo farms in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Pak Panang district – the only Siamese Ruby plantation area in Thailand – suffered major losses.
Pak Panang Lang Irrigation and Maintenance Project director Kornnarom Wannakul said officials were trying their best to drain water out of pomelo farms by using big pumps to divert water to the Gulf of Thailand.
So, the floodwater was going down in the cultivation area for Siamese Ruby pomelos and most farms were safe, Kornnarom said.
However, some farmers complained that the flood relief effort was limited to large pomelo farms and many small ones were still flooded, with no sign of help arriving. They demanded the authorities provide water pumps to tackle the flood situation on their farms.
Meanwhile, floodwater started to turn foul in some parts of Trang, which have been inundated for over a week.
Although many areas have dried out, eight tambons in Muang and Kantang districts |were still under water, with local people complaining that some floodwater had begun to turn foul.
At Tambon Bang Rak in Muang Trang polluted water from the provincial treatment facility and nearby landfill flowed into the area, turning floodwater putrid. This area has been flooded since Suterday of last week, mainly because of a high sea tide.
In Trang, 58 tambons and eight districts were declared flood disaster zones. Almost 47,000 people were affected, with one casualty. Many schools remained closed, but it was expected that the situation would return to normal by next week.
In regard to flood relief efforts, Deputy Premier General Prawit Wongsuwan said the government had deployed military personnel to help people in all areas and there was nothing to worry about.
Prawit also stated that His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and the Royal Family cared about the people’s burden from flooding and would try to help his subjects as much as possible.