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Northern flood run-off is expected to reach Bangkok

Communities along the Chao Phraya River were on Tuesday warned to stay on high alert for possible floods from Thursday until Sunday when northern flood run-off is expected to reach Bangkok.

As of Tuesday between 3,050 and 3,150 cubic metres of water per second were estimated to be flowing through Bang Sai district of Ayutthaya province.

That water is now heading for Bangkok which could see water levels in the Chao Phraya River rise by a further 30 centimetres to half a metre when coupled with the impact of a high tide, Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang said.

The water level near the Pak Khlong Talat wholesale flower market in Bangkok was measured at 1.9 metres above the mean sea level early Tuesday morning. The water remains well below Bangkok’s flood wall, he said.

Eleven riverfront communities that are home to 239 families in seven districts of Bangkok are strongly advised to closely monitor water levels in the Chao Phraya River.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), meanwhile, is preparing to respond to flood emergencies along the flood wall stretching from Rama VII Bridge to Bang Na district, the governor said.

Sandbags are reinforcing areas where the floodwall is low or where there are gaps with 97 pumping stations ready to begin draining water in case of overflows during a high tide, he said.

The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) and the Office of the National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) are also gearing up to deal with possible flooding in Bangkok, said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, in his capacity as NWRC chairman.

RID director-general, Praphit Chanma, said the department has heeded National Water Command Centre warnings about the possible impacts of a sudden jump in water levels in several reservoirs in Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Ranong.

In particular, the Kaeng Krachan reservoir in Phetchaburi and the Pran Buri and Huai Sai Ngam reservoirs in neighbouring Prachuap Khiri Khan are quickly discharging excess water, which threatens to increase flooding in some downstream areas, he said.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said on Tuesday some 286,000 people in 205 districts across 32 provinces have been affected by floods caused by heavy rain since Sept 23.

These impacts are still affecting many areas in the Northeast, the North and Central Plains.

The situation has improved in 14 provinces, namely Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Tak, Buri Ram, Nakhon Pathom, Yasothon, Surin, Loei, Si Sa Ket, Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Prachin Buri and Kamphaeng Phet, said the department.

The floods have so far claimed eight lives, the department added.

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