Temples underwater as flood hits historic Thai town

AYUTTHAYA, Thailand, October 6 (Reuters) – Several temples in the historic city of Ayutthaya in Thailand were underwater on Wednesday as heavy monsoon rains flooded the country’s provinces.

More than 40 temples in Ayutthaya, which are home to ancient Buddhist temples, ruins and monuments, have been affected by the flooding, the city administration said.

In one of the temples, Wat Satue, monks paddled small boats in water ranging from thigh depth to neck level.

“This is the worst flood in 10 years,” Father Phra Kru Pariyat Yathikhun told Reuters by telephone, adding that surrounding communities were also flooded.

Authorities have issued flood warnings across much of the country over the past two weeks as Tropical Storm Dianmu caused flash floods in 32 of Thailand’s 76 provinces, killing nine people and affecting nearly 300,000 households.

Sixteen provinces were still inundated on Wednesday, including Ayutthaya, and authorities warned of another potential tropical storm expected to reach the northeast of the country next week.

In 2011, Thailand suffered its worst floods in five decades, affecting 65 of its 76 provinces and killing hundreds.

Reporting by Soe Zeya Tun in Ayutthaya and Panarat Thepgumpanat in Bangkok; Written by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Jane Wardell

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