Ayutthaya told to brace for flooding
BMA insists capital is prepared
- Published: 28 Sept 2013
The Royal Irrigation Department has warned of more flooding in Ayutthaya and its downstream areas, with the Pasak River set to rise by up to 1.5m Sunday.
The authority needs to release more water from two dams upstream.
Ayutthaya Irrigation Office director Mitree Pitinanond said he had been informed the Rama VI dam in Tha Rua district will release more water, as the upstream Pasak Jolasid dam in Lop Buri is almost at full capacity and has to increase its own discharge.
The Pasak Jolasid dam is now at 93% of its water storage capacity.
The release of more water from the dams comes after warnings of more rainfall over the next few days.
The Meteorological Department Saturday issued a warning for people in 10 provinces in the Central Plains region and the East to brace for heavy rain triggered by a monsoon.
The warning told people in Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi and Trat to brace for heavy rain triggered by a monsoon trough over the next few days.
The department also warned of more rain in the Northeast on Tuesday as tropical storm Wutip in the upper South of the China Sea is predicted to make landfall in Vietnam on that day.
However, the government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
(BMA) have downplayed growing public concern over a potential repeat of the 2011 flood crisis in the capital, saying they are fully prepared to handle any water surges.
Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, also chairman of the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC), said Saturday the country’s total rainfall this year has measured 1,245mm, which is more than 32% lower than in the same period in 2011.
Water levels in Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan and Chai Nat were still lower than the river banks.
This is considered safe, Mr Plodprasop told a briefing on the floods Saturday.
However, in Ang Thong, the water level in Khlong Bang Pongpeng canal in Pa Mok district was about 1m above the banks, while low-lying areas outside the flood embankments along the Chao Phraya were up to 1.5m under water.
Mr Plodprasop Saturday accompanied Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on a trip to inspect flooding in Pathum Thani.
He said state agencies should monitor tropical depression Butterfly, which is expected to hit Thailand in the next three to five days.
If the system entered the upper North, it will not affect the country as the dams in the region could hold the water, he said.
If the depression entered the country via Ubon Ratchathani, the flooding there
would worsen as the province is currently receiving excessive water from Si Sa Ket and Prachin Buri’s Kabin Buri district.
Ms Yingluck said she would hold a meeting with the WFMC, the armed forces and state agencies next week to discuss the flooding situation.
Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute director Royol Chitradon said Saturday eastern Bangkok would not be severely inundated, as it was in 2011.
Ayutthaya governor Witthaya Phiewpong called on authorities to open sluice gates in downstream Bang Pakong and Bang Pu areas to alleviate the flooding.
Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said Saturday the situation in the capital is not a concern and ruled out the possibility of a flood crisis.
However, he said the northern runoff might affect areas outside the floodwalls on the eastern side of the capital, which had received excess from Pathum Thani.
To prevent flooding there, he has ordered the lifting of the Prawet Burirom sluice gate from 1m to 1.5m.
Water will be better drained from the eastern side of the capital to the Rama IX tunnel, which will drain to the Chao Phraya River.
Choak Dee Krab
Laew Phop Kan Mai Na Krab