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At least 10 crocodiles have broken loose from a zoo in the southern Thai province of Nakhon Si Thammarat since floods hit the area recently, local media reported on Saturday.

Deputy mayor Manas Pongyeelar of the provincial capital said that all the reptiles, deer and rare bird species had escaped from Tha Lad Zoo that houses more than 10 crocodiles, some measuring up to five meters long.

Authorities said crocodiles were swimming through rising flood waters, warning the locals to take special caution.

Municipal workers tried to locate the animals in order to keep them away from populated areas, but the rising water level made the task complicated, reports said.

Torrential rain and flooding continued to ravage 10 provinces in the south, affecting at least 700,000 people and disrupting transport, including flights.

So far, 12 people have been killed by the floods, the Interior Ministry unveiled Saturday.