The flood situation in the Chao Phraya River basin will improve by November, the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) assured yesterday.
However, there were several reports of the people’s ongoing struggle for survival amid the prolonged flooding in the Chi River Basin in the Northeast and Yom River in the North.
RID deputy director-general Thongplew Kongchan revealed that the flood situation in the Chao Phraya River Basin has been improving, and the water level in the upper reaches of the river basin had already decreased.
Thongplew stated that as there was heavy rain in Tak and Kamphaeng Phet provinces in recent days, resulting in the swollen Ping River transferring water into the Chao Phraya River, the flood situation downstream aggravated.
Water level on the Ping River in Nakhon Sawan province’s Banphot Phisai district has already decreased to 1,301 cubic metres per second from the highest this year on Friday of 1,330 cubic metres per second.
He expected that the highest level of water in Chao Phraya River will reach the Chao Phraya Dam in Chainat province between today and Tuesday, which will increase the water level in Chao Phraya River by another 25 centimetres.
However, water discharge from the Chao Phraya Dam will be maintained at 2,598 cubic metres per second so as to relieve the flood problem downstream.
“People along Chao Phraya River do not have to be concerned about further flooding, as the RID has many measures to manage the water in the Chao Phraya River and mitigate the flood situation, for instance by diverting the water to tributaries on both sides of the river and store the water in flood retention fields,” Thongplew said.
He assured that the flood situation in the Chao Phraya River Basin would be over within November, if there were no more rains.
Jitkasem Nirojthanarat, mayor of Nakhon Sawan town, said there was no flood yet but authorities were closely monitoring the Chao Phraya River, which could overflow due to more water flowing in from the northern provinces. Residents have been urged to follow public announcements and move to a higher ground.
Meanwhile, residents of Mahasarakam province are bracing for an overflow of the Chi River as the Ubolrat Dam has been releasing 55 million cubic metres of water downstream every day.
Mongkol Angpanya, president of the Kerng Subdistrict Administrative Organisation in Mahasarakam, said 19,631 rai of farmland and 92 houses have been damaged by floods.
In nearby Nongbua Lampu, residents have had to use sandbags as a flood barrier around the roads near the Ubolrat Dam, while officials said more water from northern provinces was heading downstream towards the dam in Khon Kaen province where the water level is near its maximum capacity.
So far, more than 3,000 sandbags have been used as a barrier to prevent floods around vulnerable villages. Sunthorn Daengchaiphumi, a hydropower official of the Ubolrat Dam, said 55 million cubic metres of water have to be released downstream due to additional water flowing down from northern provinces.
In Phichit province, about 50 houses have been flooded by the Yom River overflowing, which has also affected Sukothai and other northern provinces, while the water level in Nakhon Sawan in the central region where water from the North converges downstream, has been rising steadily affecting residents on the riverbanks.