Heavy Flooding in Thai South Caused by Climate Change
    2011-04-03 18:17:15     Xinhua       Web Editor: liuranran

The global climate change has definitely contributed to the recent unprecedented flooding taking place in Thai south, Thai Deputy Chief Negotiator for UNFCCC Dr. Sangchan Limjirakan said Sunday.

Being an expert on environmental and climate issues, Dr. Sangchan acted as a deputy head of Thai delegations attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s workshops which will be arranged in Bangkok on April 3-8.

The deputy chief negotiator reassured that the devastative floods and landslides which had battered the region since March 23 had been caused by the climate crisis.

"You know that in southern of Thailand right now, about one million people got affected from this natural disaster. I expect that almost 500,000 households got impacted. We can assume that this impact comes from climate change affect. This climate-related disaster has never been witnessed in Thailand before," she said.

Dr. Sangchan revealed to Xinhua a shocking amount of rainfall measured in the South during the last four months.

"Just only four months, the total rainfall in southern Thailand is over 2,200 mm per year, comparing with 2,700 mm in the last whole year, it is very unusual rainfall. This is certainly a climate-related disaster which has already taken place in Thailand. "

"That's what we call climate variability. Nobody knows in advance," she added.

When asked if Thai government had so far implemented any preventive measure or introduced effective warning system to prevent massive loss of lives and properties of its own people, Dr. Sangchan replied that there was an 'immediate warning system' in place.

"In the short term, the government has to provide punctual information and send alarm and message through 'immediate warning system' to warn people to evacuate immediately," she said.

She also reaffirmed how Thai government has been concerned about the climate issue and so the country expects political decision of all involving member countries.

"Thai government is very concerned. When people (delegations) come to UNFCCC in Bangkok, we hope that we will finally get solution in terms of political decision as well as implementation related to climate change," Dr. Sangchan said.

On Sunday, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported that a total of 41 people in southern provinces were confirmed to be killed by the flash floods and mudslides from March 23 to April 2. Ten provinces hit by major flooding include Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, Trang, Chumphon, Songkhla, Krabi and Phangnga, Satun and Narathiwat.

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