Military in favour of declaring state of emergency in capital Skip to main content

Military in favour of declaring state of emergency in capital

Military in favour of declaring state of emergency in capital

Military leaders were forming a consensus yesterday to ask the prime minister to declare a state of emergency in order to increase the efficiency of efforts to protect the capital from flooding, a source said.

The move came after angry residents, particularly in Pathum Thani, which is immediately upriver from Bangkok, destroyed walls of sandbags built to protect important areas.

Runoff from upstream provinces flooded Pathum Thani's business district yesterday, with some areas submerged under a metre of water.

The flood level on Pattana Samphan Road in Muang district stood at about a metre, while it was higher at the Charoen Phol Market. Several roads were impassable and residents had to take boats to get around.

Provincial authorities advised local residents to move to a shelter set up at Pathum Wilai School, which should be able to accommodate some 600 people. The shelter saw at least 40 evacuees yesterday.

Military trucks and fourwheeldrive vehicles were used to evacuate people from flooded housing estates, such as Muban Parichart.

Dry spots became scarce for people to park their cars, and motorists had to leave their vehicles on bridges.

Traffic on passable or partially inundated roads became congested, with particularly severe jams near the Pathum Thani Provincial Organisation office and Pathum Thani Hospital.
Severe flooding forced 15 banks in Pathum Thani to be closed yesterday, up from nine on Thursday, according to the Bank of Thailand, which reported that 108 bank branches had suspended their services as of yesterday.

Another 56 bank branches in Ayutthaya have been temporarily closed, 31 in Nakhon Sawan, two in Sing Buri, and one each in Chai Nat, Nonthaburi, Lop Buri and Bangkok (Krung Thai Bank's Lat Krabang branch).

In Nakhon Sawan, the flooding worsened yesterday, with water levels remaining high and the province's business and administrative areas heavily inundated.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited Pathum Thani, immediately upriver from Bangkok, to inspect the flooding situation yesterday. Justice Minister Pracha Promnok, who is leading the Flood Relief Operation Centre, and Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra accompanied the premier.

During his briefing, Pathum Thani Governor Pirasak Hinmuangkao told Yingluck that the existing flood embankments would be made 30 centimetres higher. The embankments are more than 50cm higher than the water levels.

Meanwhile, Rangsit Canal in Pathum Thani overflowed and partly flooded the outbound sections of VibhavadiRangsit Road yesterday, from the Si Mum Muang Market to Future Park department store. The road in front of Rangsit University was also flooded.

Pathum Thani Hospital director Dr Songpol Chawatanpipat yesterday warned residents to watch out for venomous snakes, adding that seven people were admitted on Thursday night alone with snake bites.

Residents of the White House estate in Pathum Thani, which was badly inundated in 1995 when its flood embankments collapsed, remained hopeful yesterday that they would be able to prevent a recurrence.

Though many residents have moved their belongings out of the housing estate, several are still keeping a close watch on the flood barriers. Local administrator Pichet Harnjangsit said the embankments should be strong enough to withstand the water pressure.


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