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Bangkok residents can live through the floods, but not if the city tap water supply collapses. Chaos could result and authorities are stepping up efforts to keep that from happening.
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The biggest worry now is that contaminated water will overwhelm the city’s tap water production facilities.
“Chaos,” if city water supply cut
What’s the biggest threat to Bangkok at the moment? According to Suwat Chaopreecha, President of The Engineering Institute of Thailand, it’s the possible collapse of the city’s tap water system.
"Bangkok residents may be able to withstand flooding for a month or so, but they can't live without tap water that long," Mr Suwat said yesterday.
"If the main purifying facility [in Bang Khen] ceases operation, we won't survive. I wish to appeal to the government to take care of the canal at all costs," he said.
The city would descend into chaos without tap water and people would scramble to get out of Bangkok, he added.
Bangkok residents, like this young boy, have begun adjusting to the floods, but all that would change of the city’s tap water supply is cut off.
The threat is real since Khlong Prapa, the canal that feeds raw water to Bangkok's tap water production facilities, has been contaminated time and again from dirty water flowing through breaches in its embankment.
Some of the breaches have been natural but many have been caused by residents trying to drain water out of their flooded communities.
Yesterday, Bangkok police vowed to arrest the people who recently destroyed sections of the dykes protecting the canal.
They also warned of harsh prison sentences and fines.
Bangkok deputy police chief Anuchai Lekbamrung said the destruction of the dykes would have a far-reaching impact on the population of the capital and many people had already been arrested in connection with the incidents.
Justice Minister Pracha Promnok, who is also director of the Flood Relief Operations Command (Froc), said yesterday the 17 recently destroyed sections of Khlong Prapa dykes had been repaired on Wednesday night.
Workers are racing to reinforce the weak sections of the dykes.
More dirty water would rush into the raw water canal if the flood barrier at Khlong Hok Wa collapses, Mr Sawat warned.
He said floodwater must be diverted to other canals.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok by Amornrat Mahitthirook and Mongkol Bangprapa. You can read the original story here: http://bit.ly/vBanoR
contaminated – made dirty, polluted or poisonous by the addition of a chemical, waste or infection
overwhelm – to cover somebody/something completely ท่วมท้น, ,คว่ำ, ครอบงำ,ปกคลุม
tap water – water that is sent through pipes into building น้ำประปา
facility – a building, its equipment, etc., used for a particular purpose โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess การจราจล
threat – a danger อันตราย
collapse – to fall down suddenly พังลงมา ล้ม, พังครืน
withstand – to be strong enough not to be hurt or damaged by extreme force, extreme conditions, etc. ทนทาน
purify – to make something pure by removing substances that are dirty, harmful or not wanted ทำให้บริสุทธิ์
cease – to stop จบ, ยุติ
operation – working; doing business ดำเนินการ
survive – to manage to deal with something difficult or unpleasant รอดไปได้
appeal – to make an urgent request for people to do something or behave in a particular way ร้องขอ
at all costs – no matter what happens or how much damage is done ด้วยทุกวิถีทาง
descend – to go down; to get worse ลง
scramble – to do something in a hurry รีบเร่ง
adjust – to get used to a new situation by changing your ideas or the way you do things ปรับตัว
raw – in its natural state; not yet changed, used or made into something else ดิบ
time and again – many times
breach – a break through or over something รอยแตก, การข้าม, การทำให้แตก
embankment – a slope made of earth or stone that rises up from either side of a road, railway/railroad, river, etc. มูลดิน,ตลิ่งทาง
drain – to cause water or fluid to flow out ระบายออก
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
vow – to make a formal and serious promise to do something สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ
arrest – (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime จับกุม
section – any of the parts into which something is divided ส่วน, ส่วนที่ตัดออก, ส่วนย่อย
dyke – a wall built to prevent the sea or a river from covering an area, or a channel dug to take water away from an area เขื่อนกั้นน้ำ
harsh – strict; unkind อย่างรุนแรง
sentence – a punishment given by a court of law การตัดสินลงโทษ
fine – an amount of money that you have to pay because you have broken the law ค่าปรับ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
destruction – when something is destroyed การทำลาย, ภาวะที่ถูกทำลาย
far-reaching – affecting many people or places ซึ่งมีผลกระทบอย่างมาก
impact – an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
capital – the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from เมืองหลวง
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
Flood Relief Operations Centre – the government's centre for assisting flood victims ศูนย์ปฎิบัติการช่วยเหลือผู้ประสบอุทกภัย(ศปภ)
repair – to fix something that is broken or damaged ซ่อมบำรุง
reinforce – to make stronger เสริมให้แข็งแรงขึ้น
barrier – a wall, pile of sandbags, etc., that prevents water from entering สิ่งกีดขวาง