Thai volunteer takes to skies to drop supplies to flood victims


Powered paraglider delivers supplies to residents affected by flood in Sukhothai province, Thailand September 26, 2021 in this picture obtained from social media on September 28, 2021. The Charity Of Phitsanulok Association/via REUTERS

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A paramotoring enthusiast in northern Thailand has taken to the skies to help deliver urgently need supplies to people cut off by floods.

Thrill-seeker Vichai Tiyasan, 38, has been motoring over waterlogged lands to drop off dry food and essential items in Sukhothai, one of 30 provinces impacted by floods in the past week.

Footage of his ultralight aviation endeavours have been shared widely on social media.

"The flood covers most areas of Sukhothai province. The situation is worse comparing to the past years," Vichai told Reuters by phone.

A paramotor, also known as a powered paraglider, comprises a back-mounted metal frame with a propeller driven by a petrol-fuelled motor resembling a giant household fan. The pilot can steer it using brake toggles that are similar to that of a parachutist.

At least six people died and two were missing in the floods, according to the disaster agency, which has also issued flood warnings in areas along the Chaophraya river, including the capital Bangkok.

Thailand is no stranger to flooding and in 2011 was hit by its worst floods in half a century, in a crisis that lasted months and saw hundreds of people killed, heavy industry devastated and many parts of the capital paralysed.

(Reporting by Jiraporn Kuhakan, Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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