Saturday, October 29, 2011

Navy has evacuation plan if roads blocked

Navy has evacuation plan if roads blocked

The Royal Thai Navy has readied its plan to evacuate Bangkok residents by sea if other means of transport are no longer practical, according to Commander-in-Chief Admiral Surasak Hoonrerng-rom.

The Navy chief said evacuees would be taken to the Navy school in nearby Samut Prakan province before being transported by sea to Chon Buri and other provinces.

However, this plan would only be used if land transport was not possible or inconvenient because of heavy flooding on roads.

The Navy has also provided a number of large rafts to serve as floating rescue centres in the western part of Bangkok, which has been heavily flooded over the past few days.

"Once the government issues its order for the Navy to help, we are ready to serve with our trucks and vessels. We believe that the government's Flood Relief Operation Command (FROC) has done its best to solve the flood crisis.

"We've mobilised a large number of personnel to help in 16 districts of Bangkok. During the high tide over this weekend, we're worried there could be floods in Bangkok along the banks of Chao Phraya River," he said.

FROC has set up five transport centres in Bangkok to help move the city's evacuees to other provinces. These are at the Thai-Japanese Sports Stadium in Din Daeng, plus Fashion Island shopping centre in Ramindra, Holland Brewery on Rama 2 Road, The Mall Bang Khae on Petchakasem Road and Wat Sri-eam near Bang Na Trad Road KM4.5.

Free transport will be provided for those who want to stay at the government's temporary shelters in nine provinces, namely, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Chachaengsao, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok and Nakhon Ratchasima.

There were few evacuees at each of these centres yesterday. Staff at the Thai-Japanese stadium reported about 100 people registered, while the Fashion Island centre reported only 24 people registered by yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Sukampol Suwannathat said the government had asked the Bangkok Mass Transit Agency to provide a total of 3,000 buses to transport evacuees.

In a worst-case scenario, as many as 350,000 people may want to leave Bangkok, he said.

On the road-digging plan, Sukampol said the government had decided it wasn't necessary because cutting sections of five roads in the east of Bangkok would not help drain more water into the sea.
Post a Comment