Bangkok braces for flash flood over weekend

20:46, October 20, 2010      

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Bangkok is bracing for flash flood over this weekend as flood water is pouring from inundated areas north of the capital into the lower central plain, Thai officials said on Wednesday.

The officials said that the most critical days of flash flood in the city will be from Oct. 23 to 27.

Deputy Bangkok governor Pornthep Techapaiboon said the city has been delivering dry food, medicine and other necessities including three boats of "floating toilets and bathrooms"to areas in the capital expected to be hit by flood in the next few days.

Pumps have also been installed to prepare for draining out water from neighborhoods expected to be inundated.

But Pornthep said key commercial areas in inner Bangkok were not expected to be affected by the flood water.

"The water level shall not rise higher than our embankments," Pornthep said in a television interview.

After the last big flood in Bangkok in 1995, embankments have been built around Bangkok to protect flood water to hit key commercial areas of the capital. Neighborhoods outside these embankments, mainly those situated on both sides of riverbank of the main Chao Phraya River, however, are still prone to flood.

Concerns of flash flood in Bangkok rise as sea level is expected to reach its height over the weekend in conjunction with flood water pouring down from provinces north of Bangkok, situated near the mouth of Chao Phraya where the river meets the Gulf of Thailand.

Residents in several provinces in the northeastern and central north regions now have to live on their rooftop or shelters as flood water reaches as high as 1.5 meters in many neighborhoods, the severest in decades.

Five people were reported to have been drown in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima alone.

Because of heavy monsoon rains in past weeks, reservoirs of many dams in higher grounds in the north and northeast have reached their full capacity of holding water. Officials, therefore, have to release water from the reservoirs to protect the dams. The water then flows downstream to flood provinces in lower areas.

Boonsanong Suchartpong, spokesman of the Irrigation Department, which operates dams across the country, said on Wednesday reservoirs of eight of the dams have already reached its 100 percent capacity and another 17 have reached their 80 percent.

Boonsanong said water released from these reservoirs is expected to start reaching Bangkok as soon as on Wednesday's evening.

However, he reaffirmed that these dams were not in danger of collapsing.

Source: Xinhua


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