Chaos on the streets as Thailand hit by worst flooding in a decade

Transport and communications were severed and tourists left stranded yesterday after southern Thailand's worst floods in a decade forced flight cancellations and left a bustling city in deep water.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries but water levels in some areas were reported as high as ten feet, with parts of the region's commercial capital and rubber trade hub, Hat Yai, under water and residents stuck in their homes.

"If the water does not recede in the next day, we will be running out of food and other supplies," said Chanda Paipiboon, 48, a restaurant owner who moved to the third floor of her flooded Hat Yai shop-house.

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The floods took their toll on the region's important rubber industry, which accounts for 90 per cent of Thailand's output, disrupting tapping and delaying shipments of smoked rubber sheet totalling about 50,000 tonnes, dealers said.

The flooding was caused by a storm which brought days of heavy rain.