The worst floods of the year caught the people of Loei and Phetchabun off guard while they slept yesterday.

Pre-dawn forest run-off from Huai Dong Thip and Huai Nam Pung in the mountains of Loei's Dan Sai district roared into Nam Pung village at 3am yesterday, destroying three houses.

©The Nation
Villagers look at the spot where three houses used to stand near Dong Thip River in Loei's Dan Sai district.

One house with a family of three was swept away. Local officials retrieved the body of Somyupin Seechamuk seven kilometres from a broken bridge and later found her 10-year-old son's body, but her husband was still missing.

Run-off also hit neighbouring Phetchabun's Lom Kao district at 4am, damaging 70 homes.

Kud Kaewkhem, 98, and her four-year-old granddaughter Patcharaporn Phromloy were killed by floodwaters in Tambon Na Sum, while Patcharaporn's four-month pregnant mother Jampi Kaewyai, 30, was missing.

Disaster Prevention Region 6 sent 1,000 food packs and relief items to affected residents.

Loei Governor Samroeng Chueachawalit denied rumours that the flood was caused by fractures in a local dam.

In Phitsanulok, forest run-off inundated some areas in Nakorn Thai district, damaging 35 households and more than 80,000 rai of farmland.

Many parts of Nakhon Thai-Phuhin Rongkla Road were under two metres of water, making it impassable for vehicles. Three schools in the area were closed down.

The water pouring into Kwai Noi River raised concerns the flood would hit Somdet Phra Yupparat Hospital in Nakhon Thai district.

Elsewhere, Tambon Dong Pa residents in Phichit's Muang district built sandbag embankments at the Nan River's sluiceways to prevent the river from flowing upstream and flooding.

In Chaiyaphum, heavy rainfall caused the Chi River to rise and flood low-lying areas in four districts, with some roads cut off. Local authorities warned residents to prepare for evacuation.

The Meteorological Depart-ment's morning forecast yesterday warned residents of 11 northern and north-eastern provinces to brace for heavy rains and possible flash floods. It said Chiang Rai, Nan, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phichit, Loei, Chaiyaphum, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, and Nakhon Ratcha-sima could be hit by flash floods in the next 48 hours.

The department said the heavy downpours were due to a low-pressure ridge over the North and Northeast of Thailand.

In related news, a senior clerk at Lampang's Jae Hom district Seubsai Saksopit said the district had built 3,353 weirs last year, and would build another 3,891 weirs this year to rehabilitate forestland and prevent flooding.