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SOS Children return to Thai Village as floods start to recede

SOS Children return to Thai Village as floods start to recede

This week, Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported over 560 people have lost their lives in the floods which have hit many parts of the country since late July.

And according to a statement from the department, 22 out of 77 provinces are still affected by floodwaters. In Bangkok, it looks increasingly likely that the centre of the capital has been saved from the flooding and water is now abating in areas to the north of the city. However, certain suburbs of the capital remain submerged and evacuation orders are still being issued.

Areas to the west of the capital, along the Chao Phraya river, are particularly affected, with the river swollen by high tides. And many areas in the east of Bangkok are still suffering, since floodwaters were diverted through them in order to protect the city’s centre. Many residents have left these areas, evacuating to other parts of the city or regions outside. However, as the floods start to recede, people can walk again through streets (with water down to knee-height) and some are returning to see how their properties and businesses have been affected. The full extent of the damage will remain unclear until the floodwaters have completely disappeared and this could take several weeks. But for some, it is already apparent what they have lost. Reuters spoke to one woman whose shop had been inundated. Having put her life savings into it, the woman was close to tears as she explained to the news agency “everything is gone”.

In towns north of the capital, where the floodwater has cleared, Thai residents have been helping with street clean-ups. For example, in the old city of Ayutthaya, teams of volunteers have been out with brooms, shovels and hoses. And the city’s elephants were drafted in to help clear dead trees. However, Ayutthaya’s mayor said the damage was extensive and the city’s recovery could take up to a year.

SOS Children in Thailand

In the south of Bangkok, where the SOS Children’s Village at Bangpoo is located, there is no immediate threat of floods affecting the area. And local authorities have put emergency plans in place to drain any water which spills over barriers in the Samutparkarn area. Therefore, the SOS children and mothers who were evacuated from the Village have now returned to Bangpoo. Nevertheless, workers there remain on high alert to ensure the safety of everyone and to meet any eventuality.