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Water influx outpaces drainage in Bangkok


Sukhumbhand says big bags marginally successful in holding back water but floods spreading in Bangkok

The volume of water entering Bangkok is much greater than the amount being pushed out, according to Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

"The difference is about Protected content cubic metres a day," Sukhumbhand disclosed yesterday.

He pointed out that the big bags placed in areas north of Bangkok had not fully prevented the run-off water from the upper part of the country from seeping in.

The big bags, so far, have managed to lower flood water levels in Bangkok's Bang Phlat, Don Muang and Lak Si districts by between 15 and 20 centimetres.

"That's good news," Sukhumbhand said.

However, he pointed out that flood water had continued to spread wider in the capital.

The Bangkok governor yesterday ordered evacuations as more areas became heavily flooded. Residents on Soi Khu Bon 6, 21, 23 and 31, Ram-Indra Road, Kanchanaphisek Road, and Seree Thai roads were ordered to leave their flooded homes.

According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, 14,818 people are now staying at BMA-provided evacuation centres. Many other flood victims have moved to live in their relatives' houses or rented places or to stay in the provinces.

"The Lat Phrao subdistrict of Lat Phrao district has been declared a surveillance area now," Sukhumband said.

In Chatuchak district, flooding has hit one of the country's biggest fresh markets - the Marketing Organisation for Farmers-run market. Flood water there is about 20 centimetres deep.

As many as 17 pumps along the Bang Sue Canal are working hard to channel the water out to the Chao Phraya River and into the sea.

Thanks to the canal's ability to drain 51 cubic metres of water per second, flood water has not yet raged into inner Bangkok.

But the canal has overflowed in some areas, prompting the evacuation of people in canal-side communities.

Concern is growing that if run-off water along Lat Phrao Road reaches the Bang Sue Canal, the waterway could be overwhelmed.

Some water from the Bang Sue Canal is now being directed via moats along the Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road to the Samsen Canal, which will help push the water out to the Chao Phraya.

Water was seen welling up from drainage pipes near the Skytrain's Saphan Kwai station on the Paholyothin Road and also near the Dusit Zoo. However, the area has not yet been flooded.

To date, the capital's subway and Skytrain systems are still operating as normal.

In eastern Bangkok, flooding now poses a serious threat to the Bang Chan Industrial Estate. Flood-water levels were climbing up the one-metre-high embankment around the estate.

In western Bangkok, flood water has almost reached the Rama II Road, the main route to the country's South.

"The flood water is now less than one kilometre away from Rama II Road," Tha Kham Police Station's deputy superintendent for traffic Lt-Colonel Avudh Whamuk said.

Sanya Sheenimit, who heads the BMA Department of Drainage and Sewerage, yesterday refused to comment on whether some districts of Bangkok would escape the raging floods.

"We have to check the efficiency of big bags and water drainage ability," he said.

According to the Flood Relief Operations Centre director Pol General Pracha Promnok, big-bag embankments are being reinforced and more pumps installed in the capital.

"If big bags can stop more water from entering Bangkok, flood-water levels on Bangkok's main roads will significantly reduce within two weeks," Sanya said.

On complaints about garbage in flood water, Sukhumbhand said BMA had already hired some locals at Bt300 a day for garbage collection in areas where the flood-water level was more than 80 centimetres deep.

According to the 24/7 Emergency Operation Centre for Flooding, Storm and Landslide, flooding has now ravaged 24 provinces and claimed Protected content . At least, two flood victims are reported as missing.
From the Nation