Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Army in last-ditch effort to save estates

Army in last-ditch effort to save estates

Water levels in key waterways near Suvarnabhumi Airport are increasing slowly, while preventive measures and monitoring of the situation are underway.

The level in Lat Krabang Canal north of the airport has increased by 2 centimetres, and a branch of it in the south by 4cm. The level at the nearby Lat Krabang watergate has increased by 3cm, and at Prawet Burirom watergate by 3cm, senior airport official Suk Phuengtham said.

Airport director Somchai Sawasdiphol said the situation was under control, as the flood water surrounding the compound was between 40cm and 67cm, while the flood barriers were 3.5 metres high.

The military has repeated its pledge to defend the Bang Chan and Lat Krabang industrial estates from encroaching floods. Defence Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha said there was time left for the military to do their best. "These are two estates that have so far survived the floods. If we fail again here, we have failed right across the board," he said.

Engineering Institute of Thailand chief Thanes Weerasiri said Bang Chan was not protected by a surrounding flood barrier as Bang Chan Canal runs through it.

"The best way to deal with flooding is to let the water flow as fast and in as much quantity as we can," he said.

Each factory is protected by individual floodwalls of two metres high on average. Requests for water pumps have been made to the city administration.

"I cannot give a 100-per-cent guarantee that the Bang Chan estate will escape the flood waters," Thanes added.

A section of the Western Outer Ring Road is being cleared of flood water so as to link to Route 340 and provide an alternative to Rama II Road for journeys to the South. Transport Ministry permanent secretary Suphoj Samlom said cutting a flood channel through Rama II Road would be useless and deprive drivers of a viable route to the South.
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