Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visits flooded parts of the southern Thailand where unseasonable downpours have killed six people. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited flooded parts of the south of the country on Friday (January 6) where unseasonable downpours have killed six people, cut road and rail links and forced an airport to close. The prime minister met with flood victims in Narathiwat province. Thailand's wet season usually ends in late November and heavy rain and flooding is rare in January, which is high season for beach resorts in the south. Twenty-six flights to and from the main airport in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat airport were cancelled on Friday because the runway was flooded, the Department of Airports said. Six people had been killed in accidents caused by the flooding, she said. Railway services on the main line linking Thailand to Malaysia have been suspended because the track is flooded. Southern Thailand is a major rubber-producing region and the wet weather was having a significant impact on production, said Uthai Sonlucksub, president of the Natural Rubber Council of Thailand. Flooding in Thailand usually occurs during the May-November rainy season. Widespread floods in 2011 killed more than 900 people and caused major disruption to industry, cutting economic growth that year to just 0.1 percent.