Saturday, October 22, 2011

Samut Prakan ready to take Bangkok overflow : experts

The Nation October 22, 2011 10:44 am
Samut Prakan ready to take Bangkok overflow : experts

A committee tasked with diverting water to the sea has asked the government to open watergates to drain water from the upper area of Bangkok to the sea via Samut Prakan province's canals.

"All canals in Samut Prakan have been ready to receive flood water drainage from Bangkok for almost three weeks - but now there is little volume of water being discharged from Bangkok's watergates," committee chairman Uthen Chartpinyo said during a tour with media to inspect the canal levels and pump stations in the province.

Samut Prakan, the last area before flood water flows to the sea, has nine pump stations and could drain about 40 million cubic metres per day of water into the Gulf of Thailand. There are 99 pump machines to drain the water but six do not function, as local authorities have not maintained them.

Flood water should be drained from Nong Chok, San Sab, Prawet, Lat Krabang, Jor Ra Keh Yai, Sam Rong Water, and Suvarnabhumi watergates. "We are waiting for Bangkok to open its gates," he said.

"We need to drain water via Bangkok to help people living in upper areas such as Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani who have been living with floods for a month, but the most important thing is we have to control the level of water in the canals," he added.

The level in Samut Prakan province's canals is 2043 centimetres below normal as the local administration has drained a lot of water to the sea already.

However, Samut Prakan Governor Cherdsak Choosri accepted that some areas in the province such as Bang Bo could still be at risk from flooding should the canals overflow.
"We are preparing to evacuate 2,000 people from this area," he said.
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