LOP BURI, Oct 21 -- Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday inspected Thailand's severely flood-hit province of Lop Buri, saying that additional flood relief measures will be released next week.
Mr Abhisit arrived at inundated Ban Mee district with Minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office Ongart Klampaiboon and acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanaygorn.
Lop Buri Governor Chatchai Promlert reported on the flood situation to the premier and described the province's overall flood management plan.
Mr Abhisit later walked through the flooded area to inspect the condition of temporary floating toilets to be provided as sanitary facilities to some two thousand families who are largely confined to their homes as water as high as two metres deep envelops their residential areas.
The prime minister asked the flood victims about their welfare and distributed disaster relief packages of dry food and medicines, before boarding a boat to inspect other severely-affected areas under deep water.
The prime minister said legal action will be taken against landowners, entrepreneurs or others who have intruded upon public areas, causing disruption of waterflow, intensifying the inundation.
Lop Buri flood victims said they feel more relaxed and their morale has been raised after meeting the premier and hearing his pledge that flood problems countrywide will be resolved within next week.
Provinces in the Northeast, East and Central regions are facing flooding. The critical situations are reported in five provinces including Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, Lopburi, Nakhon Sawan, and Prachinburi.
The premier on Monday visited and inspected flood situation in Nakhon Racthasima which is hardest hit by the flood. Nakhon Ratchasima Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital and Maharaj Hospital have been flooded as deep as one metre water level, forcing the evacuation of patients to other hospitals.
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved an expanded Ministry of Finance budget advanced to some hard-hit flooded provinces and will consider relaxation of some criteria to help flood victims more effectively. Clear-cut regulations will be issued next week, so that flood victims can receive assistance properly.
The Cabinet also assigned state agencies to help people affected by the floods and advance payments of over Bt100 million was endorsed to aid people affected by floods in Nakhon Ratchasima and Lop Buri. Requests for more budget can be made, according to the Cabinet action, and the decision on form of assistance will be taken next week to preclude corruption. (MCOT online news)