People walk in a flooded street in the Muang district of the Nakhon Si Thammarat province in southern Thailand (Photo: Reuters)
Bangkok (VNA) – At least 18 people have lost their lives and more than one million affected as by January 9 after the most severe flooding over past decades hit Thailand’s southern neck.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of villages and schools in ten southern provinces were plunged in floodwaters.

The country’s meteorological department has warned the downpours which have caused flash floods across ten southern provinces might persist for at least two more days.

Provinces of Chumphon, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Surat Thani were the worst – hit areas.

A total of 17 highways from Bangkok to southern provinces have been flooded, nine of which have been totally blocked. The floods have also disrupted the railway route leading to the south while local airports have seen services suspended.

Southern military, navy and air forces have been mobilised to provide relief efforts.

The heavy rains are unusual for this time in Thailand, which normally sees a dry and cool weather stretching from November to February, the tourism’s peak season. It is more likely to leave significant impacts on the country’s tourism. - VNA