Floods kill at least nine in southern Thailand hinh anh 1Thai soldiers join rescue work in flood hit area. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Flash floods have claimed at least nine lives in southern Thailand and affected half a million people, local authorities said on December 3.

The deaths all came in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, where a state of emergency has been declared. The youngest victim was just five years old.

Scores of houses have been damaged and more than half a million people from 210,000 households are affected.

Almost 150,000 hectares of farmland are under water.

Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Kraisorn Visitwong said this was the worst floods in the locality in 50 years.

"We've had floods in certain parts of our province every year, but never this volume and the currents never this strong. We can't even use our boats," he said.

The main airport remains open to flights but is surrounded by water. Military vehicles are ferrying passengers to the terminal.

Six other provinces, namely Narathiwat, Songkhla, Pattani, Surat Thani, Chumphon and Phatthalung, are also experiencing flooding.

Heavy rain began a week earlier and is expected to continue over the coming days as a strong monsoon sits over the Gulf of Thailand and a low-pressure system in the Strait of Malacca./.