Marking his birthday, His Majesty the King orders flood center for northeast

World leaders and the Thai public sent well wishes to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on his first birthday anniversary since becoming the new monarch, as the King ordered the establishment of a flood relief center in the deluged northeast province of Sakhon Nakhon, in keeping with royal family tradition in providing aid and assistance to the people.

Officials have said that the floods that have struck Sakhon Nakhon are the worst in decades and that initial damages have been estimated at over $300 million. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha flew to Sakhon Nakhon, the worst hit province, last week to inspect a cracked reservoir that led to flash floods. He said that 35 provinces had been affected by the recent storm Typhoon Sonca. Over a million Thais have suffered from the rising waters with 18 people having perished as of last Wednesday.

In response, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn instructed officials under his command to rapidly set up a flood relief center in the province to facilitate and speed up distribution of essential supplies such as clean drinking water, food, medicines and temporary shelters. The center will work in parallel with, and in support of government relief efforts.

The Thai royal family has a long history of joining in disaster relief and recovery missions in the Kingdom. In 1962, King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s father King Bhumibol Adulyadej established the Rat Pracha Nukroh Foundation to provide relief and support to victims of Typhoon Harriet. Aside from funneling relief supplies, the foundation also followed up by helping to restore livelihoods to those affected. The foundation has continued to provide aid and assistance to those affected by natural disasters up to the present day.

The royal family has also been instrumental in founding and supporting the Thai Red Cross Society, which also plays a strong role in reaching out and helping those who have been affected by all manner of natural disasters.

The flooding struck Thailand as the nation marked King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s first birthday anniversary on July 28 since assuming the role of monarch in the aftermath of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol last October 13.  King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s formal coronation will take place after King Bhumibol’s cremation near the end of this year.

Although the celebrations were subdued because of the mourning period for the late King Bhumibol, the 65-year-old monarch received congratulatory messages from United States President Donald Trump, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and a host of other world leaders.

“On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send you our warm greetings on the occasion of your 65th birthday,” President Trump wrote to King Maha Vajiralongkorn. “The friendship between the US and Thailand spans almost 200 years, dating back to the early days of the Chakri Dynasty. Washington deeply values the enduring alliance and friendship with Thailand.

“We look forward to building on our successful partnership to enhance our collective security, deepen ties between our peoples, and promote increased trade and investment between our two great nations. On this day of celebration, we offer Your Majesty and the royal family our very best wishes,” President Trump wrote.