The Ubon Ratchathani provincial administration has declared 17 districts disaster zones as the flood situation in the northeastern province continued to worsen on Wednesday.

Ubon Ratchathani governor Sarit Withoon said the 17 districts were declared disaster zones so that the provincial administration could speed up help to the affected people. He said the administration has already allocated Bt200,000 to each district for alleviation operations.

The 17 districts are Muang Samsib, Trakarn Phuetphol, Nayia, Tarnsoom, Don Modaeng, Nam Khun, Lao Sua Koke, Khuang Nai, Warin Chamrab, Kud Khao Poon, Nam Yuen, Pho Sai, Namtan, Sri Muang Mai, Phibul Mungsaharn, and Sawang Weerawong.

The governor said so far 32,306 families in 1,141 villlages in 159 tambon of 25 districts of the province have been affected by the ongoing floods. The floods also damaged 523,104 rai of farmland in the district and 74 schools and 13 government offices have also been damaged. A local resident drowned, Sarit added. He said the provincial administration set up 48 temporary shelters in seven districts and that 4,831 families from 51 villages and communities were evacuated to stay at the shelters.

Officials said the water level in the Mool River was still rising Wednesday morning and had reached 10.67 metres, an increase of 12 centimetres from Tuesday. In Warin Chamrab district’s downtown, businesses have set up their own flood embankments to protect their businesses and stores. The schools in the district will remain closed until September 16. Irrigation officials have raised sluice gates to full capacity at the Sirinthorn and Pak Mool dams to speed up the release of water to allow the water could flow from the Mool River to the Mekong River faster.

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