Rescuers search for the 12 missing boys and their football coach (Photo: NNT)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - Rescuers searching for the 12 missing boys and their football coach believed stranded deep inside Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province are racing against time, as the local weather bureau expects that precipitation will return on July 4 - 7.

According to the Meteorological Department, the southwestern monsoon dominating the Andaman Sea will weaken on July 2 and 3, resulting in less rain in all regions of Thailand. Nevertheless, about 40 percent of the North is facing more rain.

Renewed rainfall is expected throughout the Kingdom during the period July 4 - 7, as the monsoon is likely to intensify. About 40 percent - 60 percent of the North could experience thundershowers.

The Phrapiroon Tropical Storm currently dominating the Pacific Ocean is moving towards Japan over the next couple of days and is unlikely to have any effect on Thailand

Efforts by local Navy Seal units, various disaster relief agencies consisting of local and foreign volunteers continue to search for the missing football team believed stranded deep inside Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province. Recently the Provincial Electricity Authority has been able to provide lighting inside the cave.

Although the main plan is to rely on divers making direct contact with the missing individuals inside the cave, other officials have been dispatched to find alternative entrances to the cave both on land and from the air. Late reports say the teams have discovered that a cliff “Pha Mee” on the right wing of the cave may have a chute connected to the inside of the cave. Rescuers are now exploring the location.

Meanwhile, the drilling team has found two probable spots outside Tham Luang cave that could lead directly to the location of the missing 13 inside. The group has installed a cross sectional scanner to determine the optimal drilling mark before beginning an excavation.

Officials have now slowed the speed of draining the Tham Luang cave after the water level inside reached a satisfactory level. Patrol units have also constructed a weir to temporarily redirect the water flow away from the cave.

Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Grisada Boonrach has instructed officials in Chiang Rai to provide assistance to the Chiang Rai Provincial Agriculture and Cooperatives Office to create an understanding with farmers affected by the water being drained from the cave. He said the compensation measures would later be made known.-NNT/VNA