A week of monsoon rains sent logs and mud crashing into villages and killed at least 142 people, officials said Friday.
Unofficial counts placed the dead at more than 200, with hundreds missing and believed drowned or buried beneath mudslides that hit several villages in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province.The Interior Ministry said at least 70,000 villagers in 12 southern provinces were left homeless while extensive damage was reported to roads, bridges, railways and agricultural land.
Torrential rains in southeast Asia from Saturday to Wednesday also were blamed for the deaths of dozens in Malaysia and Indonesia. Floodwaters washed out thousands of roads, cut off rail service and destroyed crops in the hardest hit areas, authorities said.
Malaysia's state news agency Bernama reported an improvement in the flood situation in Malaysia, with no new deaths. Earlier Thursday, authorities said 27 people died in the storms, 14 in the worst hit state, northeastern Kelantan.
A spokesman of the Meteorological Department in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, said the spell of weather,part of the annual Asian winter monsoon season that lasts from November until March, was among the three worst this decade.
Monsoon rains lasting three to 10 days this month have lashed southeast Asia, southern India and Sri Lanka.
A spokesman for Thailand's Fourth Army, stationed in the south, said hundreds of rescue workers today recovered 45 bodies from the mudslides, bringing to 104 the number of dead in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. Villagers in some areas were being evacuated by troops to higher ground.