24 Thai provinces warned to brace for flooding as tropical storm Noul makes landfall

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BANGKOK, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) on Friday warned 24 provinces of the country to brace for flooding as tropical storm Noul had already made landfall in Thailand's north and north-east.

Tropical storm Noul is as devastating as tropical storm Podul, which caused widespread flooding in the northeastern province of Nakhon Phanom in August last year, said the TMD on its website.

Noul is currently increasing in strength as it approaches Vietnam and is likely to develop into a typhoon, said TMD, adding that the department is closely monitoring whether it weakens into a tropical storm as it sweeps through upper Thailand.

The northeast, the TMD said, is forecast to be showered with more than 90 millimeters of rainfall and may cause flooding in the region.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has also warned riverside residents in the 24 northern and northeastern provinces of Thailand to brace for flash floods or runoffs as tropical storm Noul, currently a Category 3 storm, will likely turn into Category 5 or a typhoon.

The Thai Royal Irrigation Department said it has taken steps on water management at dams and reservoirs in the northeast, which is expected to be hit first by Noul, by discharging water to make room to store water brought by the storm.

Also, the Department of Prevention and Mitigation of Public Disasters has coordinated with provincial public relief centers and a network of civilian volunteers, local administration organizations and private sectors, to find ways to assist residents that may be affected by Noul.

The department said that 15 northeastern provinces at risk of flash floods or water runoffs are Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Amnat Charoen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Maha Sarakham, Yasothon, Roi-et, Si Sa Ket, Sakhon Nakhon, Surin, Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchathani.

The nine northern provinces at risk are Phetchabun, Phrae, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Phayao, Phichit, Phitsanuloke, Lampang and Uttradit. Enditem

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