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BANGKOK 23 May 2019 08:04
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Looters Raid Flood-hit Stores In Hat Yai

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Looters raid flood-hit stores in Hat Yai town

Three 7-Eleven convenience stores and a wholesale warehouse in flood-hit Songkhla's Hat Yai town suffered huge losses after they were ransacked by looters on Sunday. Saowanee Jirathanakit, manager of a 7- Eleven outlet on Rattana-uthit road, said she closed down her shop when a flash flood hit the district town on Sunday. The store's electrical supply was cut off and the staff were told to go home.

She heard it on the radio around 10pm that night that her store had been looted.

''We could not do anything after hearing about the looting as the floodwater was very high and it was still dark,'' said Ms Saowanee.

''After the floods receded, we rushed to our shop and found all the goods were gone, along with our computers and a water pump. The glass windows and doors were broken and the counter was ransacked,'' she said.

Witnesses said they saw a group of some 40-50 men and women wade through chest-deep floodwaters and break into the store.

Two other 7-Eleven stores in Hat Yai were also looted on the same day. One was located on Ratcha-uthit road and the other on Choksamarnkul road.

The owner of the Choksamarnkul outlet said it was the second time his store had been looted during flooding. The first looting occurred in 2000, said the owner who requested anonymity.

Looters also ransacked a warehouse of K&K wholesale store in Hat Yai.

Owner Kiatipong Srithanawongsakul initially put the damage at about eight million baht.

Despite his heavy loss from the flood and looting, Mr Kiatipong continued to hand out necessary items to other flood victims yesterday.

Meanwhile, Wan Muhamad Nor Matha, an adviser to the prime minister, yesterday visited areas ravaged by floods and mudslides in Yala's Bannang Sata district.

He said nine houses in tambon Tanorputae were completely destroyed by a mudslide that struck their community on Tuesday night. Some other 20 houses were partly damaged.

One of the victims, Wae-etae Buera-ngae, said the mudslide was triggered by heavy rain that fell around 9pm that night. It poured down into the community from a nearby mountain and was about two metres high, he said.

Phra Jiradet Nathokro, a monk at a local Buddhist centre heavily damaged by the mudslide, called on authorities to help restore the centre.

The Public Health Ministry yesterday distributed some 200,000 first-aid kits and one million plastic thrash bags to flood victims in eight southern provinces.

The locals were told to put their garbage and household waste in thebags to help prevent a possible spread of diseases in the affected areas.

In Trang province, over 120,000 people in nine districts were affected by the flooding. Four of the affected districts yesterday gave a damage estimate of about 47 million baht in total.

In Narathiwat province, five districts remained under water yesterday although the rain had stopped.

The districts were Sungai Kolok, Waeng, Sukhirin, Chanae and Rueso.

About 87,000 residents of 369 villages in the province were affected. Three people drowned. A total of 265 roads, 62 bridges and 54 power poles were damaged.

Bangkok Post

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