Evacuation centres ready: city officials Skip to main content

Evacuation centres ready: city officials

Evacuation centres ready: city officials

Bangkok prepared to face deluge: Sukhumbhand

Bangkok Governor Sukhum-bhand Paribatra looked to backtrack yesterday from his vow that the capital could escape massive flooding, saying he never promised the capital would not be inundated.

"Flooding could happen anytime but the important thing is preventive measures and how to drain the water," Sukhumbhand said.

Eastern districts had been ordered to set up 80 evacuation centres, he said.

City administrators were fully prepared to prevent flooding and mitigate any damage, he told reporters while inspecting Phra Khanong Canal drainage station, where water was being pumped to the giant Rama IXRamkhamhaeng sewer tunnel.

The Phra Khanong station plays a crucial role in expelling flood water that arrives in Bangkok. It is equipped with four pumps capable of pushing out 210 cubic metres of water a second or about 80 million cubic metres per day, he said.

The city would speed up building three giant storm tunnels in Bang Sue, Don Muang and Nong Bon districts. Once completed, they would serve to get rid of flood water very fast, he said.

Reserve power for the pumps had also been prepared in case of blackouts caused by floods.

Nearly all floodgates have been opened, as requested by the central government, to divert runoff from upstream provinces.

But the floodgates might not be used at full capacity because the city feared people living by the canals would suffer floods.

The government would have to let city officials know in advance if the water gates would have to be opened wider, so the city could warn residents to make preparations.

The eastern districts and the communities outside the levees were at risk of flooding, while Samphan Thawong was the only inner district at risk.

"But I'm certain that we can handle it," he said.

Rising sea tides would make the situation worse but the city was completely ready to cope with the situation, he said.

Officials had yet to draw up an evacuation plan but evacuation centres would be opened in some districts. Municipal schools, teachers and workers had been ordered to remain on standby and food prepared in case thousands of residents needed to be moved, he said.

Deputy City Clerk Pirapong Saichua said 80 evacuation centres had been arranged in nine districts, which could accommodate 8,000 to 10,000 people.

Residents of four of the nine eastern districts could be hit by a water surge from upstream provinces, he said. They were Nong Chok, Klong Samwa, Lat Krabang and Min Buri.

Pinyo Pinkaew, director of the Nong Chok district office, said rising water had already swamped houses along Klongs 9, 10 and 12 and parts of Prachasamran Road were under 1030 centimetres of water.

Some 37 schools in his district were all set to shelter flood victims, he said.



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