The government has ordered every available measure be taken to protect Bangkok’s inner-city commercial and residential districts from flooding as torrents of northern run-off began to sweep through floodwalls in outer suburbs, inundating many communities, tells Bangkok Post today, October 12 2011.
Residents of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and Chachoengsao were warned yesterday to watch out for more flooding.
Northern run-off is expected to reach Bangkok between October 14 and October 17 2011 at a time when there are also expected to be high sea tides.
Justice Minister Pracha Promnok, who heads the government’s flood relief centre, raised concern about the situation in the surrounding provinces.
But he said there was no need to declare a state of emergency as the provincial governors could handle the situation.
While efforts have been under way to protect Bangkok from being swamped, the minister said he could not confirm if the capital would be safe from floods, and it would depend on rainstorms, the run-off sweeping down from Ayutthaya and the high sea tides.
Flood prevention measures for Bangkok include diverting floodwaters to the sea and the water from the Pasak River to Khlong Rapeepat, Khlong Samwa and Khlong Saen Saep.
Veera Wongsaengnak, adviser to the Irrigation Department chief, said to Bangkok Post that run-off from the Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya would reach the Rangsit canal in the next few days.
At the Institute of Administration Development in Pathum Thani’s Thanyaburi district yesterday, more than 1,000 soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division were racing to produce 1.5 million sandbags within two days to form a 12km-long floodwall along the banks of the Rangsit canal. The sandbag wall, to be at least 1.30 metres high, will prevent run-off from the North forecast between Friday and Monday from entering Bangkok’s inner city areas. Nearby residents have also been asked to help.
Meanwhile, soldiers from the 3rd Army were carrying about 150,000 sandbags on military trucks from Phitsanulok to reinforce floodwalls in Bangkok after floodwaters in the heart of Phitsanulok receded and the situation there returned to normal.
In Pathum Thani, deputy provincial governor Panthep Sriwanich said the Chao Phraya River yesterday burst through 11 floodwalls in Sam Khok district, inundating houses and vast areas of farmland in tambon Sam Khok and tambon Krasaeng. Wat Sopharam and Wat Hong Pathuma in Muang district were flooded after a nearby dyke was breached.
In Nonthaburi’s Bang Bua Thong district, Bang Bua Thong District Hospital was under a metre of water. Twenty three patients had to be evacuated to nearby hospitals.
Nonthaburi governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu said at least 3,000 households in many parts of the province have been hit by floods triggered by days of persistent rainfall. A floodwall in the province has also been breached.
Floodwaters have now risen to 1.2 metres. Soldiers and officials were struggling to help the flood-ravaged areas, Mr Wichian said.
Wim Rungwattanajinda, spokesman for the government’s flood relief operations centre, yesterday said City Hall has been assigned to dredge Khlong Ngu Hao, Khlong Bang Chalong amd Khlong Charakhae Yai whereas the Irrigation Department has been instructed to clear Khlong Prince Chaiyanuchit and Khlong Prawesburiram. The dredging work must be finished by tomorrow so the canals can take in more water coming from the North, Mr Wim said.
He said floods would be inevitable in Khlong Samwa, Min Buri, Nong Chok and Lat Krabang.
If evacuations are needed, City Hall will send out cars with loudspeakers to warn people at least three hours before the floods arrive.