Saturday, October 29, 2011

Size of flood threat downscaled

 Bangkok Post


Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra believes the overall flood situation in Bangkok will improve in the next few days although floodwaters have begun to spread to fresh areas in the capital.
WASHED OUT: Water continues to surge into Don Mueang airport, raising the flood level on the runways to between 80 and 90cm yesterday and forcing the Flood Relief Operations Centre to relocate. PHOTO: PATIPAT JANTHONG

The prime minister yesterday said the volume of run-off spreading from the north of Bangkok to the capital's inner areas is less than expected, although the overall water mass is still substantial.

She said the Flood Relief Operations Centre (Froc) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are working together to drain floodwaters into Khlong Thawi Wattana and Khlong Saen Saep.

See also: Froc flees Don Mueang airport base
She said a close watch is being kept on sea tides over the next few days and authorities would speed up the drainage of water to the sea.

"The situation should improve after Monday," she said.
Bangkok's western side, seen here from a US Navy helicopter, is one of the worst-hit parts of the capital, and could remain flooded for up to a month. (Photo by US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Villalovos)

Anond Snidvongs, director of the Geoinformatics and Space Technology Development Agency, said the authorities could drain up to 70% of northern run-off reaching the capital of 200-300 million cubic metres per day. This would cause rising water levels of five centimetres a day on average.

The situation will carry on for about four weeks before stabilising.

Meanwhile, floods are still hitting Bangkok in the north, the west and the east.

Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday said floods are threatening Wang Thong Lang, Lat Phrao and Chatuchak districts, which have been placed under special watch.

Khlong Lat Phrao has now overflowed and inundated canalside communities in Wang Hin and Saphan Lek in Lat Phrao. The water in those areas is between five to 10cm high.

On Phahon Yothin Road, overflow from Don Muang reached Wat Phra Sri Mahathat in Bang Khen.

There are now 10,794 evacuees at 84 shelters in 22 districts of the capital. Officials have identified 225 gathering points in the event Bangkok residents will have to leave the capital.
Floodwaters have continued to rise in Thon Buri. Residents are evacuating from Thawi Watthana district.

Heavy floods are also forcing City Hall to prepare to evacuate residents from some areas of Taling Chan district after overflow from Khlong Maha Sawat inundated part of the Suan Pak area.

City Hall has also called for evacuations in Bang Phlad, which is mostly flooded.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority announced yesterday it would reduce tap water production in Thon Buri area to 600,000 cubic metres per day from 900,000 cubic metres due to heavy floods which affected the quality of raw water.

The authority will supply tap water twice a day, at 6am-9am and 5pm-8pm.

Pheu Thai MP Uthen Chartpinyo, who chairs a Froc committee overseeing efforts to drain floodwater, suggested all the west-facing sluice gates allowing run-off to flow into Khlong Saen Saep in Bangkok must be opened to divert water into the city's underground drainage tunnel in the Rama IX area.

Mr Uthen said sluice gates at Bang Chan and at Khlong Sam Wa in eastern Bangkok may have to be dismantled to allow run-off to flow into the tunnel.

Deputy Bangkok governor Thirachon Manomaipibul said yesterday the BMA has asked the Provincial Waterworks Authority and the Industry Ministry to supply equipment for use in "water siphoning techniques" to drain floodwater from lower ground to higher ground in eastern Bangkok.
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