Mae Sai border crossing re-opens after flooding

News in Asia
Mae Sai border crossing re-opens after flooding

Local authorities in the northern Thai town of Mae Sai say the international border crossing with Myanmar is now open again. The border post was temporarily closed on Friday after the Mae Sai River had burst its banks the night before.

Typhoon Kalmaegi had been working its way across Asia since the previous weekend. It brought 12 hours of almost non-stop rain when it arrived in northern Thailand. The water in the Mae Sai River rose steadily during the downpour before washing over the banks. 

The floodwaters swamped the area of Mae Sai close to the river and also Tachilek, the Myanmese town on the opposite bank. Market shops close to both banks were flooded and the swirling water also deposited debris on Friendship Bridge. The bridge is the official link between the two countries. The stretch of Highway 1 leading to the bridge was not flooded.

After inspecting the flood damage, local council leader Somchai Rungsakorn ordered the closure of the checkpoint. The bridge’s temporary closure caused local residents and councillors to demand that it is elevated and widened in time for the ASEAN integration next year.   

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