The ongoing international rescue effort to get 12 young boys and their in northern Thailand has come up against another hurdle: heavy rains in the forecast could worsen the already flooded caves making .
On June 23, the 11 to 16-year-old soccer players and their coach hiked into the Tham Luang Nang Non cave, a popular tourist site in Thailand. But as they ventured into the mountain, heavy rains caused the caves to flood and cut off their exit route. The group was forced to retreat nearly three miles into the cave to find dry ground. The group was trapped in total darkness for the next nine days. Two British divers discovered the boys and their coach on July 2, but the team's troubles were far from over.
Rescuers have been working on multiple plans to get the group out, but are now up against the additional threat of more rain as the monsoon season approaches. Authorities are sending a four-month supply of food, indicating that they plan to wait until the monsoon season ends in October. But experts warn that waiting that long "may not be an option" because the porous rock type found inside the caves means that a rise in water level will flood the entire cave system.