"In an emergency or if a disaster is clearly approaching, people must rush to safe places or gather at temples or schools," said Komsan Suwan-ampha, chief of the Chiang Mai disaster-prevention-and-mitigation office.
"As the rain continues, the soil in some areas may not be able to absorb water anymore, so landslides may strike." Low-lying areas along waterways and the foot of mountains especially in San Kamphaeng and San Pa Tong districts were designated as risk zones, he said.
The National Disaster Warning Centre urged people in the North and Upper Northeast to watch out for downpours, landslides and overflowing waterways. In recent weeks, landslides have caused many deaths in Chiang Mai, while many parts of this northern province were flooded.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk said that in Chiang Mai City alone, floods had disrupted the lives of more than 10,000 families. "Some 3,000 families are hard hit," he said.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had approved a budget for Chiang Mai to buy 500,000 sandbags for use as a temporary fence against waterways that might overflow as downpours continued, he said.
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