Deadly Thailand flooding closes roads, airports

Flooding from heavy rains battering southern Thailand has left 21 people dead and thousands of villages partially submerged.

The flooding began a week ago and has been causing havoc across the bottom of the country, with dozens of roads and as many as 60 bridges damaged. 

Air travel has also been affected, with many flights near popular tourists attractions delayed, and at least one airport closed. 

More rain is forecast over the coming days and people in the area are being warned to be cautious of further flooding and landslides. 

Bapha Suthiphanya, 60, who has spent the past three nights in a makeshift government shelter, said she was forced to evacuate her home after the waters rose above her head.    

"I was so shocked and scared. I've never seen water like this and I also cannot swim," she told AFP. 

The monsoon rains are unusually heavy for this time of year in Thailand, which normally sees a three-month stretch of dry and cool weather starting in November.