Crisis meetings held regarding Bangkok flood problem
Crisis meetings have taken place in Bangkok to come up with a real solution to the ongoing flooding in Bangkok and the problems it is causing.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday (Oct 16) called an urgent meeting to monitor the flooding situation while the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has stepped up preparations for another round of deluge after Bangkok was told to brace for more rain until Oct 20.
Invited to attend the meeting included Gen Surasak Karnjanarat, the natural resources and environment minister, Gen Chatchai Sarikulya, the agriculture and cooperatives minister, Somkiat Prajamwong, director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department, and Supot Tovichakchaikul, deputy permanent secretary for natural resources and environment.
Issues discussed at the meeting included the latest flooding situation, progress in the diversion of water through the East and the West into the Gulf of Thailand, and remedial actions for people affected by the current flooding.
Pol Gen Aswin Khwanmuang, the Bangkok governor, said the meeting also discussed about preparations for another deluge after the Thai Meteorological Department announced that the rain will continue until Oct 20.
He said Bangkok was flooded at 55 spots on the night of Oct 13 after heavy downpours. The city administration has managed to drain water out via 1,682 canals with a combined length of 2,600 kilometres. The water has been lowered in all canals except Khlong Prem Prachakorn because it is very long.
Pol Gen Aswin said all eight water draining tunnels of the BMA are functioning well. However, the Bang Sue tunnel is not working at a full speed because it has not been completed. The BMA has kept the water situation under watch around the clock, he added.
The Bangkok governor said he has come up with an idea to survey all drain pipes, which are altogether about 6,000km long, especially the old ones with a diameter of only 60-70 centimetres which should be replaced with bigger ones. The work will be carried out together with the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) to avoid repeated diggings.