Search teams working amid the stench of decaying bodies dug through a wasteland of mud, logs and shattered houses Saturday in a bid to reach victims of flooding and landslides that have killed 329 people and left hundreds missing.
"This is the worst disaster in the history of" southern Thailand, Deputy Interior Minister Trairong Suwannakhiri said.Foreign Minister Siddhi Savetsila told reporters in Bangkok: "In addition to the loss of lives, there is great loss of property. I appeal to the nations of the world and international organizations to assist the stricken areas."
The U.S. Embassy said American and Canadian officials flew over affected areas and found "massive devastation."
"They have made a recommendation to provide appropriate aid and we are hoping to hear from Washington on this very soon," embassy spokesman Ross Petzing said.
Officials in Thailand and Malaysia said the death toll from six days of flooding and landslides rose to 329 - 298 in southern Thailand and 31 in Malaysia. Another 688 people were injured and more than 800 were missing. Trairong said he expected the death toll to reach 1,000.