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Plodprasop's floodwall faces test

Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Surasawadi, while inspecting the Phichit flood situation yesterday, said he had come up with a new idea of using plastic sheets to keep flood water out, which will be tested today in Sukhothai's Kong Krai Las district.

Plodprasop, who chairs the Water and Flood Management Commission, said following the Sukhothai situation of water seeping through the floodwall, he had got the idea of using plastic mixed with fibreglass sheets, each 3.50 metres wide, as floodwall base before piling sandbags, and then folding the plastic sheets up. He said it should help prevent water seeping through rather than using only sandbags or "big-bags".

He said he would test it in Kong Krai Las district today. He also urged all provincial governors to make a list of flood prevention tools and supplies at their disposal and conduct a flood drill to ensure the tools were ready for us.

He also affirmed that despite protests the government would go ahead with the Yom river basin dam construction and if the name "Kaeng Seu Ten Dam" gave people a heartache, it could be changed.

Phichit Governor Suwit Watcharothayangkul told Plodprasop that Phichit's Sak Lek, Wang Sai Poon and Thab Khlor districts were hit by the Phetchabun Mountain Range forest run-offs. The situation had returned to normal now, while Yom River overflows flooded low-lying areas in Sam Ngam district, Pho Prathab Chang and Beuang na Rang districts. He asked for a Bt330-million budget to build the Ban Tha Hae sluice gate, a Bt180-million budget to build a reservoir in Pho Prathab Chang district to slow down Yom River and store water for the dry season, and the construction of six structures to direct water, each costing Bt30 million.

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported that there were more than 163,000 flood-affected people in Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Uttaradit, Tak, Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Pathom, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok and Chaiyaphum. Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri said 25,369 flood-hit people had fallen ill between September 9 and Friday.

In Phitsanulok's Bang Rakham district, people evacuated their homes to camp along the highway, as Yom River rose and sent overflows to low-lying villages, while the Phitsanulok Irrigation Office reported 50,000 rai of farmland in Bang Rakham were inundated.

Flood water had started to recede at Sa Kaew's Aranyaprathet district hence residents had begun to clean up their homes and shops.

The Songkhla Provincial Administrative Organisation has set a Bt40-million budget to prevent floods in some 100 villages prone to floods.

Forest flood water from Sa Kaew poured into Prachin Buri's Kabin Buri district, causing a one-metre-deep flood in tambon Kabin market, while Kabin Buri Prison saw 1.8 metres-deep water, prompting the evacuation of 400 inmates.

Meanwhile, Assawat Apaiwong, the adviser to deputy governor Theerachon Manomaipibul, yesterday said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) had acted according to the Interior Ministry's regulation in asking the Bangkok Council for Bt1.1 billion flood assistance money for those who had been left out in the previous flood victims' list. He said the city had also submitted this request for approval to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department on August 24. His comments followed remarks by Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit that the BMA had not acted as per budget request regulation hence it could not be paid.


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