BANGKOK (AFP): Floodwaters have inundated more than 4,000 homes in central Thailand, officials said Tuesday (Oct 3) after a river burst its banks following heavy monsoon rains.
The kingdom's rainy season typically brings months of daily deluges but scientists say man-made climate change can make rainfall more intense.
Riverside areas of Bangkok are bracing as officials warned that incoming rains could cause flooding in the sprawling capital.
In Sukhothai province, around 400km (250 miles) north of Bangkok, heavy rains caused the shallow river Yom to overflow its banks.
The Sukhothai Disaster Prevention Centre told AFP that more than 4,300 homes had been flooded, affecting some 5,000 people.
Video from the province showed partially submerged homes, with residents wading through muddy waters sometimes up to their waists.
"This year's flood is the hardest in history," said one resident, who did not give his name.
"It was raining four days in a row," he said, describing how water inundated his paddy fields in Si Samrong district.
Officials said the flooding had affected more than 160 square km of farmland.
"We're finding ways to handle the floods," said Sophan Srisawangworakul, Director of the Sukhothai Provincial Irrigation Project.
Teams were using water pumps to move the waters, he said, adding he was hopeful the river level would subside.
"The situation looks set to improve," he said.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said the flooding was concerning because of the prolonged rainfall in the area, adding that he was in touch with the Royal Irrigation Department's deputy director-general.
Srettha is due in eastern Ubon Ratchathani province, where heavy rainfall is also expected, later this week.
Some 28 provinces have experienced floods with more than 15,000 households affected since late September, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.