Nakhon Pathom run-off is main threat to Bangkok: governor Skip to main content

Nakhon Pathom run-off is main threat to Bangkok: governor

The Nation on Sunday October 16, 2011 9:06 am
Nakhon Pathom run-off is main threat to Bangkok: governor

A build-up of run-off water in Nakhon Pathom is the biggest flood threat currently facing Bangkok, Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday.

Large volumes of flood water surround Bangkok, with the most pressing concern being the Mahasawat Canal in the capital's Thawee Watthana district bordering Nakhon Pathom province, which is largely flooded, Sukhumbhand said.

There is a possibility that water from this area, which currently drains to the sea through the Tha Chin River, will overflow the existing barriers and enter the capital via the canal.

Bangkok is at a lower elevation that the flooded areas near the canal.

The water level in the Mahasawat Canal was 1.91 metres above sea level and 89 centimetres lower than its dyke.

Sukhumbhand urged Bangkok residents not to worry, however.

After a meeting in the afternoon, Sukhumbhand said at a press conference that the flood barriers on the western side of Bangkok were not as strong as those to the north and east. Therefore, sandbag dykes would be reinforced and the situation would be closely monitored, the governor said. He surveyed the flood situation in eastern and western Bangkok from a helicopter yesterday.
The water level in the Chao Phraya River set a record for the year yesterday at 2.15 metres above sea level. At 9am at Pak Khlong Talad, the water level was 65 centimetres below the top of the dyke there, Sukhumbhand said. "We will continue to closely monitor water levels in Khlong Rangsit. [On Friday] I checked it and found the water level was not too close to the dyke level. On the western side, it would take too long to construct a dyke all the way along Putthamonthon Road, as it is too long. We have to monitor where the water is heading and where to build dykes," he said.

If Bangkok were to flood, residents would have at least seven hours to one day to prepare for evacuation, he said, adding that a water level of 2.3 metres above sea level would pose a threat to Bangkok residents outside the existing barrier line. The level was currently at 2.15 metres, he said.

Sukhumbhand said 17 districts of Bangkok have been declared emergency disaster-affected areas by the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. He added that these areas are not that badly flooded, however, and the disaster declaration is simply a legal necessity to enable more rapid assistance measures.

Royal Irrigation Department spokesman Boonsanong Suchartpong said the department was able to handle the flood water in Bangkok. Its drainage capacity was 138-140 million cubic metres a day. The situation was expected to improve in the next few days.

Due to heavy rain in Bangkok on Friday night, the water levels in major canals, including Lat Prao, Bang Sue and Nam Kaew, rose slightly. Water drainage was proceeding slowly in nine areas in Chatuchak, Lat Phrao and Din Daeng, he said.

The official said that drainage of trapped flood water in Lat Phrao to the Chao Phraya River and through the area's giant tunnel had begun at 2am yesterday and was likely to be completed in some places, including Chokechai 4, later yesterday, barring further rain during the day.

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