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BMA proposes tubes to drain off water

The Nation on Sunday October 30, 2011 12:29 pm

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) yesterday urged the Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC) to place "siphon" water-drainage tubes under or on floodwalls to release water from Sai Mai district's Hok Wa Canal to eastern Bangkok and into the sea.

If done within a week, it could help prevent the inundation of 20 districts of inner Bangkok, BMA deputy governor Theerachon Manomaipibul said in his capacity as joint committee member for water drainage with the FROC.

He said the idea was proposed to the FROC during its meeting on Friday. He said it was not the sole responsibility of the BMA but also that of the Industry Ministry and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority who had to find materials for the BMA to build the system. So far, they haven't got the materials, he added.

Warning that further delay would result in flooding in Chatuchak, Ram Inthra, Beaung Kum, Kannayao, Bang Kapi, Khlong Lat Phrao and Huai Kwang in the next couple of days, he said the "siphon" system, if installed within a week, should be able to prevent flooding in 20 districts of inner Bangkok.

Meanwhile, BMA Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday reported that the Chao Phraya River had risen to a record height of 2.48 meters from mean sea level and would be on watch for 2-3 days. The Royal Irrigation Department at 1pm reported that Chao Phraya River at Saphan Phut was lower, at 2.24 metres from mean sea level.

Sukhumbhand said Pathum Thani's Khlong Song water rose to 2.8 metres from mean sea level, while water at Thaveewattana Canal rose to 2.63 metres above mean sea level and Khlong Lat Phrao rose by 10.15cm.

The flood level at Bang Khen remained stable at 10cm-30cm, while some parts of Lat Phrao, Chatuchak and Wang Thong Lang districts were flooded. Sukhumbhand also expressed concern over the rising levels at waterways in eastern Bangkok's Min Buri, Lat Krabang, Nong Chok and Khlong Sam Wa districts.

The Thon Buri side wasn't yet totally submerged as predicted by some experts, he said while Bang Phlat and Thaveewattana districts were heavily flooded. Officials used sheet piles to repair busted floodwalls along Khong Mahasawat.

About 10,800 evacuees were staying at 84 shelters in 22 districts of Bangkok. He said Bangkok had completed its evacuation plan with 225 meeting points across Bangkok in order to move people out of the capital if necessary, he added.

As flood waters approached the inner area of Bangkok's Rattanakosin Island and the Tha Phrachan and Tha Chang piers were flooded at up to 20cm, BMA has placed two giant water pumps behind its new city hall near Khlong Lod. The building electricity system has been linked to a mobile electricity generator truck in preparation for high flood. Concrete blocks were piled up to protect the city hall's underground ventilation windows.

BMA drainage office officials were repairing busted floodwalls in western Bangkok throughout yesterday. Arunamarin Road, on the entrance to Siriraj Hospital, was in 1.5 metres of water. Many Santichonsongkhro community residents were evacuated in navy boats while some insisted on staying at home.

Khlong Sam Wa's three low-laying locations were under 20cm-80cm water yesterday, while Wat Yannawa and Charoen Krung Road were under 15-30cm flood due to the high-tide period. Small vehicles have been prohibited from those areas. At Soi Ram-Inthra 5, flood water seeping through sewage pipes inundated the Chaopor Seu shrine. Waters were 30cm deep while the Petchsiam community was inundated in 50cm of water, prompting some residents to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday morning urged city police to alleviate traffic problems for people and send out patrolling officers to watch out for crimes after many areas of Bangkok were flooded. Deputy city police chief Pol Maj-General Worasak Noppasitthiporn reported that 63 traffic locations in Bangkok were inundated and 21 of them were impassable for small vehicles.

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