A SUMMER STORM slammed Chiang Mai with hail and rain lashing the whole northern city knocking down power poles and billboards while a dismantled roof flew and landed at an intersection and obstructed traffic this afternoon (Mar. 18), Matichon newspaper said.
At around 3.30 p.m. strong winds brought a downpour of baht-coin-size hailstones, followed by rain then another wave of hail. The whole downtown area was covered with hailstones as rain continued to fall.
Both locals and foreigners living in Chiang Mai’s Nimmanhaemin area rushed out to see this natural phenomenon with the roads having turned white with hail.
All said they were surprised because this sort of wild weather has not hit Chiang Mai for a long time with one saying the last time he saw this heavy storm accompanied by hail was several decades ago when he was a child.
Netizens shared video clips showing the damage caused by the severe storm with hailstones having smashed into several houses and many roofs ripped open.
Moreover there were photos of power poles that were just installed one to two years ago having collapsed for a distance of a kilometre. A broken lamppost had crashed on a car trapping four people inside.
Billboards were also toppled while a tree fell on a house injuring its occupants. Residents in this city were worried about electricity leaking.
Later Mae Jo Municipal Rescue Centre said in a Facebook post that their volunteers had removed a roof that had landed at Ruamchok-Mae Khao intersection and was obstructing traffic. They also rescued a bedridden woman after a tree fell on her house and took her to the hospital.
Meanwhile the Thai Meteorological Department said that a heat low pressure cell currently covers upper Thailand accompanied by southerly and southeasterly winds. It is hot and hazy during the day and isolated thunderstorms are likely.
At the same time easterly and the southeasterly winds prevail over the Gulf of Thailand, the South and the Andaman Sea with there being isolated thunderstorms in the South too.
Damage in Chiang Mai after being hit by a storm that brought hail and heavy downpours. Photos: Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and published by Matichon
Watch video taken by Niwat Intawin and shared by FM91 Trafficpro below:
ภาพเหตุการณ์พายุฝนพัดถล่มหลายพื้นที่ของจังหวัดเชียงใหม่ และมีลูกเห็บตกสร้างความเสียหายให้กับบ้านเรือนของประชาชน #เชียงใหม่
ขอบคุณคลิปจาก : Niwat Intawin pic.twitter.com/2zkHIJxl60
— FM91 Trafficpro (@fm91trafficpro) March 18, 2023