Flooding in the eastern provinces looks likely to drag on till the end of November.
The grim prediction has arisen even though the East will not face the full wrath of the storm Nari, which is heading to the Northeast. Latest weather forecasts suggest the storm may bring just isolated heavy rain to the region.
“The volume of excess water (in the East) is now around 870 million cubic metres,” Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi said yesterday in his capacity as chair of the Water and Flood Management Commission. He believed drainage operations would have to run throughout this and next month to clear all the excess water.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited two heavily flooded provinces in the region yesterday.
Prachin Buri has been struggling with floods for more than a month already. Many local villages were marooned amid high floodwaters as of press time.
With run-off water from Prachin Buri, the adjacent and seaside province of Chachoengsao has been flooded also.
Plodprasop said the high tide was a major obstacle to drainage operations. The main drainage channel is the Bang Pakong River, which drains into the sea. But its water level is now quite high too.
However, Plodprasop was confident that floodwater from Chachoengsao would not spill into eastern Bangkok.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said 45 provinces had been flooded since September 19. And some 61 people had died in flood-related death in that time.
Several of the flooded provinces are in the Northeast, which is set to face the wrath of ‘Nari’.
Floodwater levels at worst-hit spots in Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima were more than one metre deep yesterday. Some residents needed to evacuate, while others stayed put and travelled around by boat.