Friday, November 4, 2011

New southern route needed

Rama II expected to go under within three days

The government should prepare alternative routes of transport and logistics to the South as Rama II Road is expected to be flooded within three days, Seri Supparathit, a Rangsit University expert on natural disasters, said yesterday.
Bussing out
A family with small children wait for a bus to take them away from their flooded home on Phetkasem Road in Bang Kae district yesterday. WISIT THAMNGERN

The northern runoff has already passed Khlong Phasi Charoen in Bang Kae district and was about 5km from Rama II Road, which is one of the major roads linking Bangkok and the southern region, he said.

The water mass travels 1-2km a day, Mr Seri said in his update on the flood situation on Thai PBS television last night.

Since Rama II is crucial for logistics and transport between the South and other regions, Mr Seri urged the government to prepare alternative routes in case the road was cut by the deluge.

Meanwhile, City Hall yesterday issued an announcement for the evacuation of the whole of Bang Kae district because of the rising level of water in waterways in western Bangkok.
Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the levels in Khlong Thawee Watthana and Khlong Maha Sawat were high and water in Bang Kae district rose rapidly by 20cm yesterday.

The governor is most concerned about western Bangkok as floodwater is rising and continues to spread to fresh areas. It also reached Nong Khaem and Phasicharoen districts yesterday.

He asked the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to open sluice gates and operate pumps to quickly discharge water from western Bangkok into the Tha Chin River.

He also issued a special flood watch order in Bang Bon, Bangkok Noi and Phasicharoen districts.

In eastern Bangkok, water flowing in from the Khlong Sam Wa sluice gate raised water levels in flooded areas north of Ram Intra Road by 5-20cm. They included Nong Chok, Min Buri and Klong Sam Wa districts. Some areas were 1.50 metres under water yesterday.

In the middle zone of the capital, floodwater flowing from northern Bangkok forced the closure of Phahon Yothin Road in front of the Major Ratchayothin cineplex yesterday. It also spread to Ratchadaphisek Road in front of the Criminal Court.

People in Chatuchak district have been warned of flooding. Northern runoff from the vast Rangsit field and Khlong Rangsit 2 canal was still surging into Don Muang, Laksi, Bang Khen and Chatuchak districts.

MR Sukhumbhand said water was overflowing at many spots along the Khlong Prem Prachakorn, Khlong Bang Khen, Khlong Bang Sue and Khlong Lat Phrao canals.

He said he hoped a barrier of big sandbags installed at the southern sluice gate of Khlong Prem Prachakorn canal to Phahon Yothin Road would contain water flow into the areas.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and some cabinet members distributed food, medicine and effective microorganism balls to flood victims in Don Muang district yesterday morning.
She was touring flooded communities and passed Wat Phai Luang temple, the Kosum Ruamjai market and Song Prapha 7 community. Some areas there were submerged by 1.5m of water.

During the visit, the premier faced complaints from residents about inadequate relief assistance. So many flood people turned up to receive food donations from Ms Yingluck that she ran out of supplies.

About 1,000 people waited for donations from her group. Some of them expressed disappointment and said they had been invited to receive aid from the prime minister but had to go home empty-handed.

Ms Yingluck urged people to be patient. Authorities today expect to finish placing large sandbags weighing about 2.5 tonnes each along Khlong Rangsit Road to slow water flow into Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

A source in the Froc said the bags will stretch over six kilometres along the canal. The big bag embankment will slow the water flow, allowing the authorities to pump more water from Khlong Rangsit into Khlong Phra Pimol through Pathum Thani.
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