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Flooding Drives Si Thammarat Farmer To Suicide

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Flooding drives Si Thammarat farmer to suicide

Published on December 24, 2005

Despite flood waters falling, the deluge in the South claimed another life in Nakhon Si Thammarat yesterday when a man committed suicide apparently because of stress brought on by the disaster.

Boonpop Jingjiaw, 46, hanged himself in the garage of his home.

“He had been under serious stress. Floods damaged our crops just before the harvest, and then flooding made it impossible for us to do other work. We didn’t have any income,” his widow, Arom, said.

Lt-Colonel Taweesilp Amloy, an inspector at Phrommakhiri Police Station, said there was no apparent motive for Boonpop’s suicide other than the stress brought on by the floods.

“The floods have had a direct impact on people’s mental state here. Many of them are clearly under stress,” Taweesilp said.

Songkhla Neuropsychiatric Hospital director Dr Anek Supeeranuntha said his hospital had been providing 24-hour counselling services by telephone because his hospital understood that some flood victims were finding it hard to cope.

“We have a team of psychologists ready. Our hotline number is 1323,” he said, adding that between 10 and 20 people sought services each day.

He recommended meditation and prayer for those suffering from stress. He said common symptoms associated with stress included insomnia, anxiety and nausea.

“You have to try to relax and try to accept that what happened was a natural disaster that was unavoidable,” Anek said.

Public Health Minister Pinij Charusombat said the number of people falling ill had increased in the flood-hit region. He was speaking during a tour of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla and Phatthalung provinces.

According to Pinij, the floods have affected 20,000 families in Nakhon Si Thammarat, where up to 20,000 residents have sought treatment from mobile medical units. Most patients were suffering from conjunctivitis, cold, diarrhoea and rashes.

“Some 200 of them were treated for injuries,” Pinij said. In Nakhon Si Thammarat alone, 24 clinics were damaged in the floods.

He said that on a larger scale the floods had damaged 73 clinincs in eight southern provinces, including Nakhon Si Thammarat.

“We are going to fix things quickly so that we can resume normal service,” Pinij added.

In Songkhla’s Khuan Niang district, the body of a man identified only as Huan was found yesterday after he was swept away by strong currents on Sunday.

Phatthalung Governor Prachak Suwanpakdi called

on authorities to closely monitor the possibility of landslides, which had occurred in five different spots in the area in less than one week. The latest landslide took place on Thursday, damaging a house in Muang district.

Four previous landslides have damaged farmland.

The Nation

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