Attempt to rescue Hi-Tech Industrial Estate under way Skip to main content

Attempt to rescue Hi-Tech Industrial Estate under way

BANGKOK, Oct 13 -- The government is pulling out all the stops to rescue the Ban Wa (Hi-Tech) Industrial Estate in flood-stricken Ayutthaya province Thursday after a section of the makeshift flood prevention dyke was breached and floodwater poured into the facility, according to Minister of Industry Wannarat Channukul.

Mr Wannarat said that floodwaters now cover more than half the 4,858 rai (1,943 acre) estate to a depth of about 50cm deep. He said Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong decided to continue the effort to rescue the industrial estate by repairing the ruptured dyke.
Mr Kittirat inspected the work of authorities doing emergency repairs of the ruptured dyke which opened a path for the influx of water.

An unspecified number of workers are using heavy equipment and their own muscle to restore a five metre-section of the flood protection dyke on the south side of the industrial estate.
In an unusual public display of emotion, Mr Kittirat wept, hugged and consoled a Japanese investor of a company operating a factory in the estate after learning that the attempt to repair the dyke failed, and it is not clear how much of the facility can be saved from the flood.
More sand bags have been brought to strengthen and mend the dyke, while an army Chinook transport helicopter carried a weighted container to drop into place to block the water inflow into the industrial estate.

The Hi-Tech Industrial Estate houses 143 factories, mainly dedicated to manufacturing auto parts, electronics and steel, with total investment of Bt65 billion and providing employment for more than 51,000 workers.
At least two industrial estates have been flooded -- Rojana and Saha Rattana Nakhon.

Meanwhile, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) on Thursday reduced the volume of water discharged from the Bhumibol Dam in Tak province to ease the difficulties of downstream residents after the water volume in the reservoir decreased.

EGAT Hydro Power Plant assistant director Kitti Tancharoen said that the state-owned energy company and the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) agreed to close the spillway of the Bhumibol Dam and reduce the volume of water release from the dam to 60 million cubic metres per day to ease the impact on residents who lived at the lower end of the reservoir.
The discharge was decreasing from the original amount of 100 million cubic metres per day as the dam was filled almost to its maximum capacity.

He said there was less rainfall and the water flowing into the dam was reduced and if the water inflow into the dam was gradually receded, the dam would eventually reduce the water discharge.

At the same time, Mr Kitti assured the public that the Bhumibol dam, named in honour of His Majesty the King, and other EGAT dams ,were strong enough to contain the incoming water, and said that their status had frequently been examined and closely monitored.
He asked the public not to panic over rumours that the dams could no longer retain water and possibly fracture. (MCOT online news)


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