Lower Pathum Thani inundated

national October 20, 2011 00:00

By THE NATION

5,940 Viewed

Water, electricity to Muang district cut off; Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate completely under water



Massive volumes of flood waters yesterday submerged lower Pathum Thani on the way to Bangkok, overwhelming the central district, cutting water and power to nearly all housing estates and covering 100 per cent of the Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate.

Unable to control the torrents, Bang Kradi Municipality shot off fireworks to alert locals to evacuate.

The Canal 5 area was in crisis with a 120-metre section of its earthen dyke busted and the dyke on the verge of collapse.

Later, 30 more metres of the dyke crumbled under pressure, making it “non-repairable”, said Wirat Thammuang, a village head in Tambon Khlong Ha who was supervising the initial repair work at the site.

“What we can do now is rescue occupants still trapped in their flooded homes,” he said.

The repeated breaches have made the transfer of 1,500 male inmates at a prison more urgent.

However, this could not be done immediately, said chief warden Aree Chaloeysuk, citing a response update from the Corrections Department.

After 500 well-behaving female inmates had already been moved out, there were no more facilities left to accommodate 1,500 convicts and transporting them in a hurry through high flood water was “not something easy to do”, he said.

Choochart Supphawatthanangkool, a local irrigation official, said the influx of water through the new 30-metre gap would sweep vast areas in Khlong Luang and Thanya Buri districts, and also likely some Bangkok areas through the Rangsit and Prayoonsak canals.

The inundation has also blanketed areas from in front of the Future Park Rangsit shopping mall to Canal 3, causing heavy traffic.

All roads in Muang Pathum Thani were under one metre of water.

All villages from the Pathum Wilai intersection to Lat Lum Kaew district were submerged, forcing people to crowd temporary shelters. Some even had to live on road islands, a source said.

In the 1,000-household Ban Chang Ua-Arthorn Estate, residents were wading through the water to buy food from the Tesco Lotus hypermarket since morning, the source said.

Yothin Chompupan, a resident of the estate, said it was flooded for over a week but no municipal officials helped them except for soldiers providing transport.

Vendors at Muang Pathum Thani Market, now under more than one metre of water, shifted to the vicinity of the Pathum Wilai intersection so people could buy prepared food, as most estates were without electricity and tap water, the source said.

The National Flood Relief Centre reported that the Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate was completed flooded, while people were being evacuated.

Overflow from the Chiang Rak Canal prompted Bang Kradi Mayor Thawatchai Euang-ampornwilai to instruct officials to launch three rounds of five fireworks in the sky in the morning to warn people to flee fast to temporary shelters.

The Bang Kradi Industrial Estate was not affected yet as soldiers had built up floodwalls to protect it from surrounding water.

In the Khlong 5 neighbourhood, water breached a 120-metre section of its two-metre-high earthen dyke, which was on the brink of coming apart, said Chan Poungpetch, president of the Pathum Thani Provincial Administrative Organisation.

Some 50 Border Patrol police helped Tambon Khlong 5 victims to flee from two-metre-deep torrents. As the water surrounding the White House Village estate reached 3.4 metres and was about to batter down floodwalls, Khlong Luang district officials urged the 1,000 villagers to escape to Bangkok’s Don Muang district.

At-risk residents in Lat Lum Kaew and Sam Khok districts were evacuated, Chan said, adding that the water in Rapeepat Canal was still high and raging but residents were led to safety.

The 200-year Anniversary Rattanakosin estate, the front of Sear Rangsit Mall as well as Khlong Luang district’s Canal 1 and Canal 2 roads were all submerged, he said.

Over 50 centimetres of water covered the area in front of Future Park Rangsit Mall, causing traffic congestion on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, which became impassable to small vehicles, he added.

Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, a representative of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, presented 64 rafts to Pathum Thani Governor Peerasak Hinmuangkao to assist flood victims. The department has donated some 1,000 rafts to flood-hit provinces.

 

Most view