More residents ordered out

national November 08, 2011 00:00

By The Nation

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Key link to South under threat, as more water pumps delivered to BMA

Flooding yesterday forced the evacuation of more Bangkok residents and threatened to cut Rama II, another key inter-provincial road. 

The latest evacuation order was issued to people in Bang Chan, in Bangkok’s Klong Sam Wa district. 
To date, evacuation orders have affected 15 of Bangkok’s 50 districts. Flooding is so serious in at least 12 districts that all residents have been advised to leave their homes. 
But not all residents have agreed to move out of their homes in spite of the record flood and evacuation orders. 
Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday that some 800,000 people had chosen to stay in seriously flooded areas. 
“We are trying to help them by delivering relief items,” he explained. 
Inundation has shown no signs of easing in the capital. On Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, floodwater has already reached the Thai Rath newspaper office. 
On Phaholyothin Road, it has already covered the area in front of Channel 7 TV station. 
Although Skytrain services continue to operate as normal, passengers have found it hard to get buses to their destination after reaching Mor Chit station in the flooded Chatuchak district. 
Run-off water from the north of the country has caused Bang Sue Canal to overflow in some areas. Some lanes of Ratchadaphisek Road, for example, had about 10cm of water.
On Lat Phrao Road, floodwater was much deeper. At Paowana Intersection, the water was about 80cm deep. Even buses were found stalled in the high water. 
In Bangkok’s east, officials at Bang Chan Industrial Estate were trying to pump out water that began to seep in. 
In Bangkok’s west, water on Phetkasem Road was heading toward Tha Phra Intersection. On the Ekachai-Bang Bon Road, water was about 15cm deep.
Floodwater was also heading toward Rama II Road, which serves as a main link between the capital and the South. 
Motorists have already had to switch from major routes to secondary, circuitous roads to go to other parts of the country. 
If Rama II is cut to traffic, transport between the South and other parts of the country will be much more difficult. 
Deputy Bangkok City Clerk Jumpol Sampaopon, however, gave hope to people affected by the flood, saying it would end soon with the arrival of more pumps. 
“We are due to get 71 pumps from the Flood Relief Operations Centre (Froc) today and will get 500 more from China soon,” he said at a press conference. 
He explained the installation of pumps at key spots would direct water to main canals like Thanon, Premprachakorn, Saen Saeb, Samsen, Bang Sue and Bang Khen. 
“With cooperation from people and damming to prevent the influx of more run-off water from the northern part, we should be able to control the situation in 10 days,” Jumpol said. 
Also at the press conference was Froc director Pol General Pracha Promnok, who is also the justice minister. 
Pracha said Froc and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) were working closely to try to drain floodwater out of Bangkok as fast as possible. 
“We are channelling run-off water from the upper part of the country to the east and using pumps to drain floodwater in the capital,” he said. 
Pracha said Froc had spent between Bt40-50 million on pumps for the BMA. Some pumps from China had been bought while others were donated by China. 
He said when all pumps were working, the authorities should be able to deliver good news to Bangkok residents. 
Meanwhile, officials at the Hydrographic Department, said the Chao Phraya River level in Bangkok had risen from 1.63 metres to 2.07 metres above normal sea level. 

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