Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BMA agrees to open four more sluice gates

Bangkok Post

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra has agreed to raise four more sluice gates to allow water from neighbouring Pathum Thani province to flow into canals now that the floodwater in many Bangkok areas has receded.
MR Sukhumbhand announced the decision on Wednesday. He said water levels in major canals such as Khlong Rangsit have also fallen. This meant several inner areas would not be at risk of flooding.

As the situation was not worrying, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will raise four major sluice gates on the northern and eastern sides of Bangkok to allow northern runoff to flow into the canals, the governor said.

The four are Khlong Phraya Suren, Khlong Sam Wa, Lam Bueng Khwang and Lat Krabang sluice gates.

The Khlong Phraya Suren watergate will be raised from one metre to 1.3 metres, he said. However, the BMA reserved the right to adjust the sluice gate opening if necessary, he added.

The Khlong Sam Wa sluice gate will be raised to 90 cm from 80 cm to allow floodwater from Pathum Thani's Lam Luk Ka to flow into Khlong Saen Saeb before the water is drained tino the giant water tunnel between Rama 9 and Ramkhamhaeng roads.

The Lam Bueng Khwang watergate will be lifted to 1.20 metres from one metre to drain water from Lam Luk Ka district's Khlong 8-12 canals to Khlong Prawet before the water is drained to the giant water tunnel.

The Lat Krabang sluice gate will be raised to 1.20 metres from one metre to drain water from Lam Luk Ka's Khlong 7-12 to Khlong Prawet before the water is drained to the sea through the giant water tunnel, the governor said.

He thanked residents who had lowered the Khlong Phraya Suren sluice from 1.5 metres to its normal level of one metre early Wednesday before he decided to raise the gate to 1.3 metres.

The governor had earlier refused to negotiate with Pathum Thani residents after they raised the Khlong Phraya Suren sluice gate to 1.5 metres on two occasions without permission.
Fine Arts Department director-general Somsuda Leeyavanich said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has offered a grant of US$72,000 (about 2.16 million baht) to assist in the restoration of flood-hit historical sites in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya.

Unesco also sent four foreign experts - two from Japan, and one each from Holland and Italy - who inspected the damage to the 500-year-old Pom Petch fort and other flood-damaged sites in Ayutthaya Historic Park today.

The experts will come up with restoration guidelines for each ancient site and jointly work out a plan to strengthen the structures of historical sites to withstand future flooding, Ms Somsuda said.

A meeting will be held on Friday at the Fine Arts Department to discuss the guidelines and solutions for each ancient site, she said.

The department chief expressed concern over the humidity at flood-hit historical sites that has caused fungi to damage the structures.

More than 130 historical sites in the province had been inundated during the flooding. The restoration work would cost at least 600 million baht, she said.

Unesco will study the results of the survey and will consider additional financial assistance if proposed by the government, she said.

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said a total of 661 people were confirmed dead in the floods that inundated Bangkok, many provinces in the Central Plains, North, Northeast, East, West and the South.

Three people, two from Mae Hong Son and one from Uttaradit, were confirmed missing, according to the department.

The floods still prevail in Bangkok and 14 other nearby provinces, affecting 4,827,958 people, it said.

The provinces are Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Saraburi, Suphanburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakhan, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao and Bangkok, said the department.

The floods caused by recent heavy rain also still prevail in the soutehrn provinces of Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Songkhla, Phatthalung, Yala and Pattani, where nine people have been killed and another 437,312 people affected, it added.

Of the total fatalities, three were in Narathiwat and two each in Songkhla and Yala.
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