After being overwhelmed by the record rainfall, Hat Yai's new drainage system has worked quite effectively.
Central Hat Yai is strewn with garbage and debris left behind by the floods which devastated much of the South’s commercial hub. PHOTOS BY TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD
Worst appears over for Hat Yai
Water drains quickly but areas still need aid
Hat Yai is starting to bounce back from the overwhelming floods as the drainage system built under a royal project after the devastation of 2000 clears the main commercial areas more quickly than expected.
Flash floods have eased dramatically in many parts of Hat Yai city, although relief efforts are still being hampered in several pockets by high water and strong currents, authorities said.
The water level in many low-lying streets had receded significantly yesterday after reaching more than two metres high. It remains at that level only in the inner area around Kimyong market.
Authorities say the rapid drop in the flood water was due mainly to the efficient drainage system around the city.
Danaiwit Saibandid, chief of Songkhla’s irrigation office, said the system built under one of His Majesty the King’s projects after the 2000 floods caused 18 billion baht in damage to the city has played a big role in diverting the flood waters to Songkhla Lake.
The royal projects, particularly six large canals diverting water from Klong U-tapao, have effectively drained the water from the city to the lake.
The deluge that hit Hat Yai this year started showing significant signs of receding within 24 hours after the rainfall ended compared to almost a week in 2000.
Thaweejit Chandrasakha, president of the Association of Siamese Architects, said the flash flood in Hat Yai was largely due to unprecedented heavy rainfall, not because of the failure of the drainage system.
Water flow in Hat Yai this year was up to 1,623 cubic metres per second compared to 970 cm/sec in 2000, according to the irrigation office.
Mr Thaweejit said the growth and expansion of the town had contributed to the inundation with shophouses and buildings obstructing the run-off.
He said Hat Yai’s current city plan expires at the end of this year and a new city plan will need to take into account the expansion.
Mr Thaweejit suggested the development of canals and ‘‘monkey’s cheeks’’, or water retention areas, would help drain water and prevent flooding in the downtown area.
As the water recedes, residents and tourists who were trapped in their homes and hotels for almost 48 hours were able to move around yesterday to get food and other supplies.
Preparations to clean up the city have already begun and the situation is expected to return to normal in a few days if there is no more rainfall.
Rescue operations are continuing in the inner area of Hat Yai Nai where several communities are still under 2m of water.
Armoured vehicles and marine landing craft, rubber dinghies and water scooters have been used in the rescue operation.
Food is being prepared at several locations including Prince of Songkla University for distribution to those stranded in their homes.
Police Region 9 is stepping up surveillance to prevent looting after the flood water recedes.
The deluge, which hit other districts of Songkhla, claimed at least eight lives, including a family of five in Singha Nakhon district who were killed in a landslide.
overwhelm – to defeat or overpower something or someone or with a lot of power or force ล้น,ท่วมท้น
record – the highest amount, most ever, etc. สถิติ
drainage – the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes การระบายน้ำ
drain – to get rid of the water in an area of land ระบายออก
effectively – producing the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
strewn – covering a wide area อีฉุยอีแฉ,ก กระจัดกระจาย,
debris – the broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed ซากปรักหักพัง
devastate – to badly damaged or destroy ทำลายล้าง
commercial – for business purposes เกี่ยวกับการค้า
hub - the central or main part of something where there is most activity จุดศูนย์กลาง
aid – help; assistance ความช่วยเหลือ
bounce back – to become healthy, happy, or successful again after something bad has happened to you กลับสู่สภาพปกติ
devastation – damage or destruction affecting a large area or a lot of people การทำลายล้าง, การทำให้เสียหายอย่างรุนแรง
flash flood – a flood that happens suddenly without warning น้ำที่เกิดท่วมในที่ต่ำโดยฉับพลันทันทีและไหลลดลงอย่างรวดเร็ว
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
dramatically – in a big way อย่างใหญ่หลวง
relief – money, food, medicine etc. that is given to help people in places where there has been a natural disaster, war, etc. เครื่องบรรเทาสาธารณภัย
hamper – to stop someone or something from making progress or developing; to hinder ขัดขวาง, เป็นอุปสรรค
pocket – a small area which has a particular quality that makes it different from the areas around it
current(s) – the steady flowing motions of the water in rivers, lakes or the sea กระแสน้ำ authorities
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
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
recede – to move back; to move further away into the distance; subside ลดลง, ถอยหลัง
rapid – happening quickly อย่างรวดเร็ว
efficient – effective and well organised มีประสิทธิภาพ
irrigation – the process of bringing water to land through a system of pipes, ditches, etc. in order to make crops grow ระบบชลประทาน
play a role – to have a particular influence มีบทบาท
divert – to cause something to change direction เบนเส้นทางเดินน้ำ
deluge – a sudden, very heavy rainfall or a sudden flow of a large amount of water ฝนตกหนัก น้ำปริมาณมาก
unprecedented – never having happened before ที่ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นมาก่อน
flow – a movement of water การไหล
expansion – an increase in size, number or importance การขยายออก
contribute to – to help cause an event or situation ช่วยก่อให้เกิด
inundation – flood; to submerge น้ำท่วม
obstruct – to make it difficult for something to happen or for someone or something to go somewhere ขวางทาง
run off – water flowing away from a flooded area
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
expire – to come to an end or stop being in use หมดอายุ
take into account – to consider; to think carefully about the various factors involved before making a decision or developing an opinion พิจารณา, คิดอย่างละเอียด
retention – the act of keeping or storing something การเก็บ, การเก็บรักษา
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
trapped – to be in a dangerous or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape ถูกกับดัก
rescue – to save someone form a dangerous or unpleasant situation ช่วยชีวิต
armoured vehicle – a military vehicle that is heavily protected by a metal covering รถหุ้มเกราะ
marine landing craft – a ship which carries troops or equipment to the land
(rubber) dinghy – a small rubber boat that is filled with air to make it float เรือบดเล็ก
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers, police officers or rescue workers การปฏิบัติการ
location – where someone or something is ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
distribution – the process of giving something out to many different places การแจกจ่าย
stranded – left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้
step up – to increase; to cause to happen at a faster rate เร่ง
surveillance – the process of carefully watching a person or place การเฝ้าตรวจตราอย่างเข้มงวด
looting – stealing things from buildings, houses or shops, especially during a war or after a disaster การปล้นสะดม
claim lives – to kill people
landslide – a large amount of earth, mud (a mudslide) or rocks falling down the side of a mountain or hill landslide แผ่นดินถล่ม
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