In a report issued late yesterday, Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) said that 3 people have been killed by floods in Nakornsawan province. Wide areas of farmland have been submerged and 27,000 houses inundated.
Flooding is affecting a total of 14 provinces across the country as the rainy season comes to a peak. Many areas have reported persistent heavy rain over the last 2 weeks.
River levels are high and the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has said it will need to make controlled releases of water from several dams.
Ayutthaya province in particular is seeing some severe flooding, with around 22,000 homes inundated as well as a number of important historical buildings and temples.
Floods in Fourteen Provinces
Yesterday, DDPM Director General Chatchai Promlert said that excessive rainwater had been reported in the 14 provinces including 61 districts, 358 communities and 2,087 villages. Officials report that 68,000 houses have been damaged by floodwater.
According to the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT), those provinces included eight in the Central Region, namely Nakhorn Sawan, Chainat, Singburi, Angtong, Ayuthaya, Supanburi, Lopburi and Kanchanaburi, three in the North, namely Pichit, Pitsanulok and Petchabun, and three in the Northeast, namely Chaiyapum, Ubon Ratchathani and Khon Kaen.
The DDPM Director says his department is cooperating with military units in efforts to urgently provide assistance to flood victims.
He added that DDPM is also working with local units of the Irrigation Department to install water pumps drain off the excessive water from communities and economic areas in those provinces, he said. Relief items will be handed out the villagers affected by flooding and damaged roads will be promptly repaired.
Bangkok Under Threat
The Bangkok Metropolitan Council (BMC) is closely monitoring the situation in the flood-prone district of Don Mueang as run-off from the upper provinces heads towards the capital.
NNT reports that “the BMC is particularly concerned about Khlong Prem Prachakorn, where the canal is seeing surging water levels and passes through different districts in Bangkok and other provinces. Heavy rains could cause the canal to overflow and flood nearby communities.”
Dam Releases Could Cause Flooding Along Chao Phraya and Pa Sak Rivers
The long term heavy rain in catchment areas prompted the country’s Royal Irrigation Department (RID) to increase the volume of water released from Pasak Chollasit dam from 06 October onwards, in order to increase the dam’s capacity to accommodate for the high water flow.
People and businesses near the Chao Phraya river, Noi river, Bang Luang canal, Bang Ban canal and Pasak river are advised to move their belongings to high grounds to brace for inundation.
By late yesterday, local media had already reported 100s of villages had been flooded, with some under as much as 1.5 metres of water.
Communities along the Pa Sak River in Ayutthaya, as well as Lop Buri and Sara Buri provinces, have also been warned of possible overflows in the coming days due to an increase in water discharge from dams upstream.
RID officials reported that the water level at Pasak Jolasid Dam on the Pa Sak River has already reached 90 percent of its capacity and, if nothing is done, the dam is expected to be completely full by October 11. RID therefore need to increase the discharge rate.