The procedure of draining historic sites in Ayutthaya will begin as soon as there are no threats of further inundation, Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome said yesterday.
The areas under focus are Wat Chai Watthanaram and 1,810-rai palace compound that has been named a World Heritage Site, she said. “The ministry will not wait until the floods have completely receded, but will take action as soon as there is proof that there will be no more strong currents and peak tides,” she added.
Sukumol said HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn had expressed concern about the welfare of people living in the area, “especially in terms of there not being enough food or it not being extensively distributed”.
So far, there are 220 heritage sites under water, including 97 in Ayutthaya and another 34 in Chiang Mai.
Meanwhile, monks left stranded in flooded temples are seeking food, medication, boats, sandbags and fuel to run the pumps they have been given, she said. Donors can deposit contributions in account number 059-1-29006-5, Krung Thai Bank, Education Ministry branch.
Customs gate opened for estates
The Flood Relief Operations Centre yesterday instructed the Customs Department to open the temporary customs service point at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport’s Terminal 1 Gate 5 for flood-affected business operators. From today, the Hitech Industrial Estate and Bang Pa-in Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya can use the gate until the flood situation is back to normal. For details, call (02) 535 1569.
Netherlands to share flood expertise
The Netherlands is ready to share its expertise in flood and water management so Thailand can be better equipped to handle floods in the future, Dutch Ambassador to Thailand Joan Boer.
“[We’re] willing to share the expertise,” Boer told The Nation yesterday. However, he said, the Thai society should collectively push for comprehensive flood prevention measures, and the government as well as every citizen should have a sense of shared responsibility. – The Nation