A Buddha sits at the back of a gathering place at the Thai Temple in Berkeley. At its base is a collection jar for Thai flood relief. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Four months of flooding have left Thailand devastated, with large portions of the country still under water, making fresh food and water hard to come by for many.

To help the people of Thailand, Wat Mongkolratanaram, more commonly known as the Berkeley Thai Temple, will hold a fundraiser Sunday during its popular brunch. Since anywhere from 200 to 600 people come each week to dine on beef curry, mango rice, and other Thai delicacies, organizers hope to raise hundreds of dollars.

Thai musicians and dancers will perform under a tent during the brunch, which runs from 10 am to 1 pm at the temple at 1911 Russell Street near MLK.

Thailand gets flooded during the monsoon season every year, but these floods are the worst in decades, according to Chat Mingkwan, a temple representative. The floods coincided with high tides, which meant the flood waters had nowhere to drain.

“The duration of this makes it uncommon,” said Mingkwan. “It floods every year but this year it’s worse.”

Mingkwan’s brother lives in Bangkok and moved to the second story of his house when the waters flooded the first story. But then he ran out of food and water and had to evacuate to a relative’s house in a nearby city, he said. That is happening all over.

“People are going hungry,” said Mingkwan. “There is no water to drink.”

Other Thai organizations, including the Thai restaurant association, the Thai Association of Northern California, and the Thai Cultural Association, are also raising funds for flood relief.

Those who are interested in donating to the flood relief effort can send a check to the temple made out to Wat Mongkolratanaram. Be sure to write “flood relief” on the check. Send it to 1911 Russell Street, Berkeley, 94703.

Away at college, pining for Thai Temple’s Sunday brunch [01.12.11]

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...