Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Flash floods in Pattani, 1 Nov 2010

I had so much to say but things got so busy dealing with the aftermath of the flooding that it has now become old news.

However, I will try to recall the experience from the night. While it was not tsunami level ferocious flooding, it was still frightening enough for me.

water levels rose quickly - from one minute seeing heavy rain, to the next seeing water had reached up to more than half the car tires, and the next you try opening the door and water was rushing into a high pick up truck. then you get out walking on the road and feel like you are being swept away, both by the winds AND the water. and so is your 6foot tall, big built brother. and when you stand still you almost start to freeze by how cold the water is.

water receeded quick enough, but damage has already been caused. trees uprooted, building roofs blown away, damaged goods and furnitures. people rushing to stock up on food over the next few days. everyone trying to clean up, and at the same time move things to higher grounds, constructing dams around their houses, etc etc

many other towns and cities around Thailand were affected by floods this year. Pattani was not the worse hit. However what got me peeved were a couple of things
1. absolutely no warning from the provincial administration. Hat Yai had their warning. People had time to make some attempt to safeguard their property and lives. Also, very likely the flood could have been mitigated if they had taken care of the drainage system and made preparations ahead of time. Couple of days AFTER the flooding, the provincial administration sent out teams to clean up canals around town.
2. In many places around the world, Thailand included, one often sees the military is mobilised to assist during natural disasters. I saw a lot on the news how the military helped people during and after such calamities, including places such as Hat Yai. Granted Hat Yai was worse affected than Pattani, but I have to say I was still surprised that I did not see any military personnel in Pattani during the disaster that struck in Pattani. Keep in mind that over the past 6 years, and the last 2 in particular, Pattani has had a large contingent of military personnel stationed here. Many camps all over town, including inside school grounds. But none to be seen after the floods. Well, until about 10 days later when the Prime Minister visited a village that was still flooded :)


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