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Thai PM issues order under disaster act to handle floods

(Xinhua)

09:04, October 24, 2011

BANGKOK, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday issued an order under the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act 2007 to enable authorities to better efficiently handle watergates.

The prime minister said in her statement that the deputy director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department is solely authorized to control an important Phra-in Racha Watergate in Pathum Thani province, north of capital Bangkok city. All relevant agencies must follow instruction of the deputy director-general, she added.

The order was handed down following series of protests of the people affected from shutting or opening the watergate which most of the time hindered the authorities from affective flood management.

PM Yingluck Saturday invoked the disaster law which in effect empowers the government to take over the supervision of flood control and drainage in Bangkok as well as sideline Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Under Article 31 of the Act, any persons who impede to authorized officials shall be imprisoned from one month to one year and/or fined from two thousand to twenty thousand baht.

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