Saturday, October 29, 2011

We're nearly through it: PM

We're nearly through it: PM

Govt will expedite drainage of water once peak tide ends tomorrow, Yingluck says; BMA and Waterworks Authorities tasked with siphoning off flooding from next week

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday urged Bangkok residents to be patient and refrain from destroying water barriers as the worst flood crisis in more than five decades was expected to pass soon.

"Please hang on for a few more days. Save these dykes and we will gradually drain the water away from all the areas," she said.

If the water drainage worked according to plan and all related agencies acted quickly, the water coming to Bangkok would be reduced.

In addition, if Royal initiative embankments were safe and the volume of water in Bangkok was under control, the flood water would start receding from the capital in the coming week, she said.

"It might not be sweet and sound like in a normal situation, but I believe we will be able to restore normalcy in a short time. We have teams who keep facilities working so there will be no interruptions." She advised people to regularly follow the news and official announcements. Earlier yesterday, in her weekly programme, Yingluck said she had stressed quick drainage of water, especially during this high-tide weekend and tomorrow.

From Tuesday until November 5, the Royal Irrigation Department would expedite the drainage of water upstream from Royal initiative embankments, the water in Rangsit and lower Hok Wa canals.

The water would be drained through Gate 6-13 of Rangsit canal while the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority had been tasked with expediting the siphoning off of water, she said.

Water drainage to the west of Bangkok was still a problem, she said. The Royal Irrigation Department had to quickly fix breached dykes along the Chao Phraya River, and speed up the drainage of water to the Tha Chin and Chao Phraya rivers.

Meanwhile, BMA water drainage would be via Thawee Wattana, Asee Charoen and Maha Chai canals.

Yingluck said the flood situation in the Central part of the country, including Nakhon Sawan and Chai Nat, had improved, resulting in more stable flood levels downstream, which was good news.

When asked if any part of Bangkok would be safe from flooding, Flood Relief Operations Centre chief and Justice Minister Pracha Promnok would only say that the capital was in the path of run-off water heading towards the sea. Unless Bangkok could drain water effectively and in time, there would be brimming over from canals. Meanwhile, low-lying areas could also face some flooding.
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