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Swamped: Tens of thousands hit by Thai floods

Image: A general view shows a flooded Hat Yai district in Songkhla province
A flooded Hat Yai district in Thailand's Songkhla province, south of Bangkok, is seen on Tuesday.HO / Reuters
/ Source: news services

A tropical depression that dumped two days of constant rain on southern Thailand has caused flooding that forced rail service to shut down and thousands of residents to flee.

The unusually heavy rain has caused the worst flooding in decades. The state-run Narenthorn Emergency Medical Center put the death toll at 38, up from 32 the previous day.

The flooding in parts of southern Thailand comes after two weeks of flooding in the north earlier this month killed 104 people.

At least 29 provinces have been affected by the heavy rain, mainly in the northeast and center, covering about a quarter of the country.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said 1.5 million people had been affected and he promised a coordinated response to help.

Bangkok is on flood alert with excess water flowing from the north down the Chao Phraya river coinciding with high tides at the river's mouth to the south.

Mayor Prai Pattano of the hardest-hit Hat Yai district of Songkhla province said Tuesday that at least 100,000 people were affected there and that the water was almost 5 feet high.

The State Railway of Thailand suspended service on eight routes Tuesday due to flooded tracks in the Songkhla area.