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Floods

Bangkok residents warned over high tide

Despite flood barriers, water from the Chao Phraya River seeps into areas of the Chaiyasittawas Temple in Pathum Thani.

Despite flood barriers, water from the Chao Phraya River seeps into areas of the Chaiyasittawas Temple in Pathum Thani.

The first high-tide period of this month is imminent - and Bangkok residents in riverside communities who do not have flood barriers must be ready for possible flooding, say authorities.

"Please move your belongings to higher ground during the coming high tide," Sunsern Rueangrit of Bangkok Metropolitan Administra-tion's (BMA) Bangkok Flood Control Centre said yesterday.

The first high-tide period in this month starts today and will run until tomorrow.

The second period will run from October 16 to October 22.

Sunsern said the water level in the Chao Phraya River might rise to 2.8 metres above mean sea level in communities without flood barriers. As of press time, the water level was 1.72 metres above the mean sea level.

Most communities along the Chao Phraya River's stretch in Bangkok have the protection of flood barriers. The construction of the structures, however, has not taken place in some areas in the face of opposition from residents. According to Sunsern, the water situation for Bangkok overall is not worrying.

"Weather forecasting suggests it may be raining in some parts of Bangkok this month but the rainfall won't be huge," he said.

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, meanwhile, announced that floods were now inundating 28 provinces such as Chiang Mai and Rayong.

During the past few weeks, inundation has already caused 34 deaths and ravaged farmland and caused property damage.

Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong said since September 17, his ministry had dispatched about 100 mobile medical teams to flood-hit areas to assist victims.

"They have treated 68,919 patients in those areas," he said.

Most common symptoms were athlete's foot, aches and pains, and headache.

Pradit said about 703 flood victims covered by mental-health assessments showed signs of stress.

"Of them, 230 needed close attention because they were very stressed and some become depressed," he said.

Sa Kaew's Khao Chakan district chief Sawanit Suriyakul na Ayutthaya yesterday lamented that flooding in his area had reached a critical point.

"At hard-hit spots, floodwaters have already risen to the second floor of people's houses," he said.


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