Flooding in Thailand kills 21, strands thousands

BANGKOK - Severe flooding and mudslidesin southern Thailand have killed 21 people, stranded thousandsof tourists and threatened to delay shipments of rubber in theworld's largest rubber-producing country, authorities said onWednesday.

Trains to the region have been canceled and three airportshave been shut, including one on the resort island of Koh Samuiwhich is popular among Thai and foreign tourists. Nakhon SiThammarat and Surat Thani airports have also been closed.

Thailand's navy sent four vessels including an amphibiouslanding craft with on-board helicopters to the rubber-richregion to deliver supplies and rescue tourists and villagers inareas severely hit.

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