Thunderstorms lash provinces

A house has no roof after strong winds ripped off the corrugated iron sheets in Sa Kaeo during a storm. The storm damaged 54 houses in Ta Phraya district and four more in Khao Chakhan on Thursday. Soldiers helped repair the damaged homes. (Photo by Sawat Ketngam)

Summer thunderstorms caused injuries, extensive damage to homes and heavy rainfall in many provinces, including Bangkok, on Friday.

Three women were injured when a shuttle van they were travelling in crashed into a ditch during a heavy storm on Vibhvadi Rangsit Road opposite Don Mueang airport yesterday morning.

Sumita Chaisen, 29, Luckana Soda, 29, and Panitta Panmuang, 37, were rushed to a nearby hospital.

Thongsuk Saengliam, the van driver, told police he was heading to Rangsit with 15 passengers on board when strong winds and rain buffeted his vehicle.

He said he did not apply the brakes fearing the van might skid off the road.

However, he lost control of the vehicle on the slippery surface, and plunged into a ditch.

A storm in Sanom district of Surin completely destroyed six homes and partially damaged 82 others. It also ripped off the roofs of more than 200 houses.

Troops were deployed to collect corrugated zinc sheets blown away and helped repair the roofs and damaged homes.

In Phetchabun, damage was urgently assessed in nine districts where heavy rain and hailstorms devastated homes and ruined crops on Thursday evening.

The local disaster mitigation and prevention office said the storm affected 19 tambons and 52 villages in nine districts.

A total of 23 homes and tobacco leaf drying shades were partially damaged.

Similar damage occurred in Muang district in the northeastern province of Loei where a freak storm wrecked 10 living quarters used by workers at a resort.

Khamphaeng Channamkham, a worker at the Khuen Rang resort, said the thunderstorm struck shortly after midnight, packing strong winds that blew off roofs and triggered heavy rain and hail.

Workers went searching for the roof sheets which were blown about 200 metres away and put them back in place as the rains continued, Mr Khamphaeng said.

In Sa Kaeo, Peerapong Muenpong, the head of the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, said yesterday that a summer storm there damaged 54 houses in Ta Phraya district, and four houses in Khao Chakhan on Thursday.

Five longan and banana orchards were also ravaged by the storm, Mr Peerapong said.

Local officials, soldiers and residents were working together to repair the damaged houses while officials handed out food and relief supplies to affected residents, he said.

The Ta Phraya district chief, Arayan Thayai, said the priority was to fix the roofs as quickly as possible to shield residents and their belongings from the rain, since downpours were expected to continue for several more days.

Meanwhile, drought forced tap water to be rationed in tambon Huay Mun in Uttaradit's Nam Pat district.

Local leaders said the taps would run dry at intervals in some households to ensure there is enough water for other homes.

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