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BMA worried as Pasak Dam gets ready to release water

Downstream communities warned of inundation, Lop Buri district submerged

People living downstream from Lop Buri's Pasak Jolasid Dam have been warned to brace for flooding today and tomorrow, as the dam will discharge more than 700 cubic metres of water per second on both days.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has said the situation is worrisome, as the province is just 150 kilometres away.

"The level of the Chao Phraya River around Pak Klong Talad in Bangkok is about 1.97 metres above mean sea level," Adisak Khantee said yesterday in his capacity as chief of the BMA's Drainage and Sewerage Department.

Flood barriers alongside most of the river's stretch in Bangkok stand 2.5-3 metres above mean sea level.

As of press time, the level of flood waters in Lop Buri's Chai Badan district was rising fast because of water discharged from the dam. Adisak said the BMA was also paying close attention to rising water levels in Nakhon Nayok and Prachin Buri.

"We have to watch out for Bangkok's eastern zones," he |said.

He said the BMA had asked the Royal Irrigation Department to divide the excess water between the Chao Phraya and Bang Pakong rivers.

Adisak said that if Nong Chok, Min Buri and Klong Sam Wa districts suffered from huge amounts of water, Bangkok's inner city might also face an impact.

"If that happens, we will need to channel some water into the Saen Saeb Canal that runs through the inner zone," he said.

Banharn Silapa-archa, chief adviser to the agriculture minister, said Bangkok might be flooded for a day or two, though he predicted that the situation for riverside communities in Pathum Thani would be worse.





"They should be prepared," he said, pointing out that the Pasak Jolasid Dam needed to discharge a huge amount of water every day because its was already 110 per cent full.

The Pasak River is a tributary of the Chao Phraya, which runs through Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi Bangkok and Samut Prakan before draining into the sea.

Floods, meanwhile, have ravaged 28 provinces, with Prachin Buri's Kabin Buri district suffering the worst inundation in 24 years.

In Chon Buri, a part of the Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate was flooded, but it did not affect the operation of any of the factories there.

The State Railway of Thailand has suspended services in Nakhon Ratchasima, announcing that there will be no trains running between Klongkananjit and Klongpai stations in Sikhiu district as the tracks were under 10 to 15 centimetres of water. SRT said the service would remain suspended until water levels dropped.

Trains between Ban Dong Bang and Kabin Buri stations in Prachin Buri have also been halted because of flooding. The Bangkok-Aranyaprathet and Bangkok-Kabin Buri trains will now terminate at the Prachin Buri station.




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