SANDBAGS are being piled up along the banks of Phetchaburi River in Phetchaburi province’s economic zone as water levels are getting dangerously high.
The Muang Phetchaburi Municipality also flew a red flag yesterday to alert local residents that the situation was getting serious.
As of press time, the overflowing Phetchaburi River had already flooded parts of the old community, behind the provincial governor’s official residence.
“Relevant authorities had updated locals about the situation in advance,” Deputy Prime Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said, adding that conditions at Kaeng Krachan Dam, located in Phetchaburi’s Kaeng Krachan district, were “most critical”.
The dam has been brimming over for weeks now, and though it has been discharging up to 22.75 million cubic metres of water daily, it was still 109 per cent full as of yesterday.
Runoffs from the dam have been flowing into the Phetchaburi River, which runs through several districts before draining into the sea. As of yesterday, the river’s water level was about 39 per cent higher at a measuring station in Muang district.
The authorities have been doing their best to keep the heart of Phetchaburi town dry by erecting temporary 40 to 60-centimetre flood barriers along the banks of the river. The officials have also been pumping water into the sea, while boats are being provided to help locals get around where floods are high. The Phetchaburi Technical College also announced that it would stay closed for two days so students do not have to wade their way to classes.
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, the Pran Buri Dam was 86 per cent full and was being closely monitored.
Samrerng Saengpoowong, deputy secretary-general of the Office of National Water Resource, said his agency was also monitoring water levels at Sakhon Nakhon’s Nam Oun Dam, Kanchanaburi’s Vajiralongkorn Dam and Nakhon Nayok’s Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam. As of yesterday, they were 103, 91 and 87 per cent full respectively.
Separately, Mae Hong Son Governor Sirirat Choom-upakan warned locals to beware of possible landslides. His warning came after several days of continuous rain. He said the areas most at risk were 30 villages in Mae Sariang district, 15 villages in Sop Moei district, 36 villages in Khun Yuam district and 27 villages in Mae La Noi district.
Sirirat said he had ordered all district offices to monitor conditions for possible flash floods and landslides. If officials believe a landslide is imminent, they should have villagers evacuated immediately, the governor added.