A villager went missing and is believed to have drowned after strong currents from overflowing streams swept through several villages in the Mueang district of Thailand’s northernmost province of Mae Hong Son following heavy rain Friday night.
The famous Su Tong Pae bamboo bridge, a popular tourist attraction, was also heavily damaged by the currents, making it impassable.
Ruangrit Pholdee, the chief of the public disaster prevention and mitigation office in Mae Hong Son, said today (Saturday) that a search has been launched to try to locate the missing villager from Ban Huai Pha.
Five villagers were reported to be stranded in the Tham Pla-Namtok Pha Suea National Park, but they have now been evacuated to safety.
Many rice farms have sustained heavy damage and numerous utility poles along Highway 1095 have collapsed.
The Su Tong Pae bamboo bridge stretches for 500 metres across rice fields and the Mae Sa Nga River, linking a temple at one end with the village of Kung Mae Saak at the other. The name of the bridge translates as “successful prayer” in the Tai Yai dialect. It is a source of pride for the local community.
Rice plantation owners donated the land and the villagers came together to build the bridge, using interwoven strips of bamboo for the walkway and wooden supports to elevate the bridge above the rice fields.