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PM hopeful but governor fears a second wave

The prime minister and the Bangkok governor offered differing views of the flood situation yesterday.

The premier said a critical mass of water had already been diverted away from the capital, while the governor feared another 'wave' would hit the western part of the city.

"I have never said there would be no more water in Bangkok, but the massive surge of billions of cubic metres from the North was diverted through canals in the eastern part of the capital," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters.

City Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, meanwhile, said he did not believe information from the government-run Flood Relief Operations Command (FROC) indicating that the flow of water from the North was slowing.

The governor said the most critical locations were Don Muang and Lak Si, where water levels were rising yesterday.

Levels in the west of the city were also rising and needed close surveillance, he said.

Water in Thon Buri, Bang Plad, Thawee Wattana and Taling Chan remained high. Bang Khae was critical. Many main roads in western Bangkok such as Uttayan, Charan Sanitwong, Boromrajchonnee, Kanchanapisek, Suan Pak and Putthamonthon 1 and 3 were inundated.

The problem was the drain system in the west was not as good as in eastern Bangkok, he said. Western Bangkok got water from Nonthaburi's Bang Kruay and Nakhon Pathom, he said.

"I will not cry 'crisis' where there is no crisis, but nor can I say the disaster is over, either, as long as Don Muang, Bang Plad and Thawee Wattana are inundated," Sukhumbhand said.

Yingluck said it was difficult to push water from the western part of the capital out to sea, as canals in the area mostly ran parallel to the coast.

However, the flood situation in Bangkok wasn't as severe as in other provinces. "We have not allowed all the water to surge into Bangkok at once," she said.

"May I offer my sympathy to all parts of society, including people in Bangkok's suburbs [and adjacent areas] such as Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Ayutthaya," Yingluck said.

The situation at many industrial parks such as Rojana and Nava Nakhon would improve within two weeks of the water in eastern Bangkok flowing out to sea, she said.

The government would spend at least three months rehabilitating flood-damaged areas, she said, adding that state and private banks would prepare over Bt300 billion in loans for victims of the floods. These include business owners, the industrial sector and citizens who need to rebuild or repair businesses or homes.


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