Skip to main content

Epic floods in Thailand: How you can help

By Julie Hays, CNN
updated 11:21 AM EST, Mon November 7, 2011
A Thai family evacuates from the capitol city. Monsoon rains and swollen rivers have caused widespread flooding since June.
A Thai family evacuates from the capitol city. Monsoon rains and swollen rivers have caused widespread flooding since June.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Floods in Thailand have left hundreds dead, billions of dollars worth of damage
  • It is the worst flooding to hit the country in half a century, Thai government says
  • Relief organizations are mobilizing to provide food, shelter, and medical aid
  • There are ways you can support relief efforts for flood victims in Thailand

(CNN) -- Flooding caused by monsoon rains and swollen rivers has ravaged Thailand, affecting more than 9.5 million people nationwide.

More than 380 people have died, and the overall damage is an estimated $6 billion dollars, the Thai Finance Ministry says. It is the worst flooding to hit the country in half a century, according to the Thai government.

As the murky waters rise, so do health concerns. Charities working in the country predict water- and insect-borne illnesses like dengue fever and malaria will spike in the coming weeks.

Relief organizations are on the ground providing shelter, supplies and medical aid to flood victims, and there are ways you can help.

World Vision is passing out emergency relief kits and hygiene supplies to people living in highly affected areas.

Mosquito nets are being distributed to help minimize the spread of insect-borne diseases as the waters crest.

The orgnization is constructing safe places for children to play away from dangerous floodwater. At these "Child-Friendly Spaces," kids can also participate in activities to help them cope with the trauma of this experience.

Visit World Vision's website to make a donation to the organization's Disaster Response Fund.

A ShelterBox tent community is constructed about 40 miles north of Bangkok.
A ShelterBox tent community is constructed about 40 miles north of Bangkok.

ShelterBox Response Teams have distributed 250 tents, 1000 mosquito nets and numerous water purifiers to flood victims in Ayutthaya and Lopburi.

ShelterBox also delivered several "Classrooms in a Box" to damaged schools, and teams are working with the Thai army to build an evacuation shelter site.

"The army expects the site to be in use for around two months, so it is essential that it is well set up with secure, weather-proof shelter and good water, sanitation and hygiene facilities," says ShelterBox member Stephen Crabtree.

To make a one-time $10 donation to ShelterBox from the United States, text "SHELTER" to 20222 on your mobile phone. Go online to donate from other countries.

Volunteers and staff with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are working to distribute aid to communities cut off by the floods for over a week.

The Thai Red Cross, an IFRC member, has helped victims in 36 provinces since the flooding began in June. It says it has given out more than 175,000 aid kits and 2 million bottles of water.

Go online to donate to IFRC's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.

Catholic Relief Services and its partners have provided thousands of flood victims with weeks' worth of food aid, emergency medicine, and personal hygiene kits in some of the hardest hit areas around Bangkok.

Flood victims in Thailand wait for emergency food and relief items distributed by Catholic Relief Services.
Flood victims in Thailand wait for emergency food and relief items distributed by Catholic Relief Services.

"As we traveled, the water levels gradually rose to the point where shops were flooded -- some still open for business in knee-high water," said CRS response team member Ross Tomlinson. "As night fell, we saw more and more people living in temporary shelters surrounded by their household goods."

As the water subsides, CRS says it will continue to help families rebuild and reestablish their businesses.

Vist the CRS website to donate online or call 1-800-736-3467 from the United States to donate by phone.

Smiles on Wings has launched a flood relief mission to help victims in Thailand. Their Chiangmai-based team is preparing survival packs for 80 to 100 families living in Ayudhaya, an area north of Bangkok where severe flooding has left many families homeless.

Survival packs include necessities like water, toilet paper and mosquito lotion. Each survival pack costs 540 baht or 18 dollars for one family. Go online to make a general donation from the United States or other countries.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT