Bangkok on flood alert with forecast for more rain this week

national September 30, 2016 01:00

By TANATPONG KONGSAI,

PRATCH RUJIVANAROM

THE NATION

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WITH more heavy rain expected to hit the capital this week, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has instructed officials to monitor main roads as well as 300 flood-prone secondary roads and housing estates.



The BMA also dispatched pumps to drain water from flood-hit communities along Klong Prem Prachakorn in Don Muang district while district chief Wandee Sonchai admitted drainage was made particularly difficult because the swollen canal was the district’s main drainage channel.
As the Meteorological Department warned of heavy rain covering 70 per cent of Bangkok until Friday, deputy governor Amorn Kitchawengkul said the BMA’s Drainage and Sewerage Department would work with respective district offices to release water and add pumps at vulnerable areas including agricultural land in Lat Krabang, Min Buri and Nong Chok districts. 
With Friday likely to see the heaviest rain, Amorn said district offices would inform canal-side residents – including those near Klong Prawetburirom, Klong Mahasawat and Klong Saen |Saeb – to brace for possible overflows. 
 
Heavy rain tipped, but low tide
Bangkok residents along the Chao Phraya River had less to worry about as this was a low-tide period, he said. 
BMA officials would also work with nearby provinces to plan for better flood management in connecting areas such as Soi Baring and Muang Thong Thani, he added.
BMA deputy spokesperson Benjasai Keeyapat said that as rain continued to fall in most parts of the country and the Royal Irrigation Department increased the rate they are releasing water into the Chao Phraya, the BMA was closely watching how the situation might affect residents in areas outside flood barriers.
Drainage and Sewerage |director Sompong Wiangkaew |said the department was working flat-out to relieve flooding in Bangkok, but with continuous heavy rain, flooding was virtually inevitable.
“We have to understand that Bangkok is situated in a low-lying plain, so it is prone to flooding. With the past weekend’s heavy rain that submerged parts of Northern Bangkok, we were able to drain most of the flooding within three hours, which was an acceptable rate,” Sompong said.
However, he admitted that some alleys were still flooded and officials were trying their best to remedy the situation. 
Sompong cautioned that in the case of rain exceeding 100 millimetres for more than two hours, there would be flooding. 
“Even though flooding is not 100-per-cent preventable, we’re sure that we can drain the water within three hours.”