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Man-made flood alert (updated)

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People living in low-lying areas along main canals in western Bangkok are on full alert today with water drainage drills set to be carried out. 

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Any increase in the level of Khlong Tawi Watthana in Bang Khae district is worrisome to residents in low-lying areas. Photos by Thiti Wannamontha.

Evening update: The drainage test went as planned and no serious problems were reported. Both government and city officials seemed satisfied at the water flow. There are still some concerns about the test scheduled for the eastern part of the city on Friday, however, because some dredging work has not been fully completed. From today's tests, however, major problems seem very unlikely.

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Man-made flood alert

It's a bright and sunny morning here in Bangkok but people living in low-lying areas along main canals in western Bangkok are still anxious and on full flood alert.

They know the rains are likely to return later in the day, but their big worry is the government's plans to carry out water drainage tests.

Royol Chitradon, chairman of the Water and Flood Management Commission's sub-committee on water situation analysis, said the drainage test in western Bangkok was timed to start at 2pm today because the sea tides will be at the lowest level at 3pm.

Interviewed on Thai PBS at 9am this morning, Royol Chitradon, chairman of the Water and Flood Management Commission's sub-committee on water situation analysis, said he was confident the drainage test would not flood the Tawi Wattana area shown here or any other area involved in the test.

The average water level in the canals used in the tests would be around 70cm high. However, in some parts of the route, the water level could become as high as 1.4m, but the testing team would try to keep the level lower, Mr Royol said.

Any increase in the water level is worrisome to residents of the Wat Saladaeng community which is among seven communities declared by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to be at risk of flooding during today's drill.

Wat Saladaeng is located next to Khlong Tawi Watthana in Bang Khae district where the water level in some places is only 10cm below the concrete walkway.

Montas Kosolsomboon, 55, says she and her family are taking no chances.

The owner of this house next to Khlong Tawi Wattana is taking no chances.

''I have already prepared cement blocks in case the water reaches the first floor of my house. Although the situation will be different from the heavy flooding last year, I can't help feeling scared,'' she said.

Umaporn Wannapa, 54, a vendor from the same community, said she was unhappy with the drill as the authorities have given little information to people who might be affected by it.

''All the information I get is from TV. No officials have come to provide the information to us.”

Instead of wasting its time on the drill, the government should focus more on dredging the canal, she said.

Officials in charge of the test disagree, saying it will enable them to know how much water can be diverted into the capital to speed up its flow into the sea.

Adapted from a story by Apinya Wipatayotin and Amornrat Mahitthirook in today’s Bangkok Post.

level – the amount of liquid that there is in a container, river, dam, etc., which can be seen by how high the liquid is ระดับ
worrisome – worrying; causing worry or anxiety ซึ่งน่าวิตก
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
alert – a warning to people to be prepared to deal with something dangerous การเตือนให้ระวัง
anxious – worried because you think something bad might happen ที่วิตกกังวล, ที่ร้อนใจ
alert – prepared to deal with something dangerous ตื่นตัว ระวัง
drainage – the process of taking away of water or other liquids from an area  การระบายน้ำ
commission – a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
analysis – the detailed study or examination of something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study  การวิเคราะห์
tide – the regular rise and fall of the level of the sea (the tides) ปรากฏการณ์น้ำขึ้นน้ำลง, กระแสน้ำขึ้นน้ำลง
interview – to ask someone questions in a meeting for a newspaper article, television show, etc. The noun form is also interview สัมภาษณ์, การสัมภาษณ์
confident – certain; having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
average – an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
declare – to announce officially ประกาศ
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) – the local government of Bangkok กรุงเทพมหานคร
at risk – in danger ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
drill – an activity which practises a particular skill or procedure การฝึกหัด
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
take no chances – to avoid the possibility that something bad or harmful might happen ไม่เสี่ยง
block – a solid piece of stone, wood, ice etc with straight sides ท่อนหิน, ท่อนไม้, ก้อนใหญ่, ชิ้นใหญ่
in case – if something happens ในกรณีที่
scared – frightened, or worried ตระหนก, ตกใจ, หวาด, ผวา
vendor – someone who sells something, but not in a shop พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
focus – to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another เพ่งความสนใจ
dredge – to remove unwanted things from the bottom of a river, canal, lake, etc. using a sucking or other device ขุดลอก
in charge of – to be in control of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly  ดูแล ควบคุม
enable – to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible  ทำให้เป็นไปได้
divert – to cause something to change direction เบนเส้นทางเดิน
capital – the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from  เมืองหลวง
flow – (of a liquid) to move continuously in one direction ไหล

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