Manmade disaster | Bangkok Post: learning

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Manmade disaster

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Developers in the Korat area seemed to forget about Mother Nature when they made their plans, resulting in record flooding. 

Once again I have included this morning's Channel 11 television news report at the end of the lesson. And for a dramatic 360 degree of the flooding in Chaiyaphum's Muang district, look here:

Click button to listen to Manmade and rightclick to download

Disaster was man-made

Devastating Korat flood caused by construction


A plastic container is used to transport a woman to work as floods show no signs of receding in Chaiyaphum. SAROT MEKSOPHAWANNAKUL

Widespread encroachment on water retention areas and the blocking of natural drainage ways by construction projects are being blamed for the disastrous flood which has beset Nakhon Ratchasima.

The construction of resort hotels, golf courses, housing estates, a road and the province’s sports complex for the Southeast Asian Games three years ago have added to the severity of the disaster after the province’s two main reservoirs failed to cope with the heavy rains.

A senior provincial town official said much of the rain fell over Khao Yai National Park in Pak Chong district and the Thap Lan National Park in Wang Nam Khieo district.

A number of hotels and golf courses have been built in forests around the national parks and they are blocking the natural drainage of rain water.

Rain water from Khao Yai flowed only into the reservoir of Lam Ta Khong Dam in Pak Chong district while the run off from Thap Lan had no other way out than Lam Phra Ploeng reservoir in Pak Thong Chai district.

The incessant rain meant neither reservoir could handle the excess water which flowed over the sides and into Pak Chong and Pak Thong Chai districts.

A further impediment to the natural drainage was the Navanakorn industrial estate in Sung Noen district. The Rural Roads Department built a road from the industrial estate through Pak Thong Chai district to Kabin Buri district in Prachin Buri.

The road was part of the route linking the industrial estate and Laem Chabang commercial port in Chon Buri, but it had formed a giant dyke that blocked the natural passage of rain water.

The expansion of Mittraphap Road from four to 10 lanes in Sung Noen and Non Sung districts in Nakhon Ratchasima also reduced the natural drainage, leaving Muang district in the heart of the province vulnerable to flooding.

Takoengpol reservoir in Muang district provided a catchment area several years ago. It covered more than 530 rai.

Three years ago, the reservoir became the location of a 2.8 billion baht sports complex built for the 24th SEA Games in 2007 and Muang district lost its most important flood prevention facility.

The problem has been compounded by the building in recent years of dozens of housing estates around Muang district without any attempt to protect natural drainage.

The chief of the province’s Public Works and Town Office, Anukul Saengtongchray, said Nakhon Ratchasima was no different from other big cities.

The provincial capital has expanded rapidly. New communities have been built in areas reserved to retain flood water. These residential estates have blocked the flow of water, he said.

The chairman of Khao Phaeng Ma Conservation group in Nakhon Ratchasima, Chokedee Paraloganond, said apart from encroachment on water retention land, canals in the town were narrowed as new buildings went up. This had hampered water drainage within the town.

He said the reason Maharat Hospital had been so heavily hit was the canal behind it had been narrowed to give the town more space for new buildings.

‘‘This is a good lesson for the province in trying to find sustainable solutions [to the flood problem],’’ he said.

You can read the complete story here:

disaster– an unexpected event, such as a very bad accident, a flood or a fire, that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage ความหายนะ ความล่มจม ความโชคร้าย
devastating – causing extreme damage or destruction ทำลายล้าง
construction – the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
widespread – happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
encroachment - gradually covering more and more of an area of land การบุกรุก
retention – the act of keeping or storing something การเก็บ, การเก็บรักษา
drainage – the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes การระบายน้ำ
disastrous – extremely bad or unsuccessful ซึ่งทำให้เกิด (ภัยพิบัติ, ความหายนะ, ความโชคร้าย)
beset – to cause someone difficulty or danger over a period of time  รุมเร้าด้วยปัญหา
housing estate – residential estate; an area containing a large number of houses or apartments built close together at the same time บ้านจัดสรร
complex – an area that has several parts  พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ
severity – seriousness ความรุนแรง
reservoir – a natural or artificial lake where water is stored อ่างเก็บน้ำ
cope – to deal successfully with a difficult situation  รับมือกับ
block – to stop from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น
run off – water flowing away from a flooded area
incessant – continuous; unending ต่อเนื่อง, เรื่อยๆ, ไม่หยุดหย่อน
excess – greater than is usual; too much of something  มากเกินปริมาณที่พอดีimpediment
industrial estate – an area of land where industrial companies have their buildings นิคมอุตสาหกรรม   
route – the roads used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
link – to connect เชื่อม
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
expansion – an increase in size, number or importance การขยายออก
reduce – to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc ลดลง
vulnerable – easily damaged or harmed ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย
catchment – the process of collecting water การเก็บกักน้ำ, สิ่งที่ใช้เก็บกักน้ำ เช่น อ่างเก็บน้ำ
facility – an area or building used for a particular purpose
compound – to make a problem or difficult situation worse เพิ่ม
expand – to make or become larger ขยาย
community – a place, smaller than a town or city, where people live ชุมชน
reserved – kept for use for something or someone ที่จัดสรรไว้ สำรอง
retain – to keep, continue to have, or to store something เก็บไว้, สงวนไว้
residential estate – housing estate; an area containing a large number of houses or apartments built close together at the same time บ้านจัดสรร
narrow – to make less wide ทำให้แคบลง
hamper – to stop someone or something from making progress or developing; to hinder ขัดขวาง, เป็นอุปสรรค
sustainable – able to be successfully continued for a long time ยั่งยืน, ถาวร

Television news

With your background from today's story on the floods and earlier reports you should be able to understand this morning's news broadcast on Channel 11 presented by the Bangkok Post's team:

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