25 dead in Thai floods; rains finally ease

Heavy rains have finally eased in southern Thailand, where flooding and mudslides over the past week killed 25 people.

Flood relief center official Vittayen Muttamara warned Friday that residents in hillside areas must remain alert, because the flood runoff from the mountains could still inundate villages.

The government disaster agency says nearly 1 million people in eight southern provinces have been affected by the floods.

Vittayen said access to some villages by land was still difficult because of damage to roads and bridges, but rescue workers were able to reach them by helicopter. The state news agency TNA quoted Education Minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat saying more than 1,246 schools suffered damage.