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Researchers predict that unless preventative measures are taking, climate change will put much of Bangkok under water. 

Bangkok residents walk through their flooded community earlier this year.

I’ll be in Khon Kaen until Thursday, so I’ve prepared material in advance, including this story.


Click button to listen to Bangkok flooding and rightclick to download

700,000 lives at risk from floods, study finds

Apinya Wipatayotin
 
The lives of about 700,000 people and 1.16 million buildings in Bangkok will be seriously affected by floods caused by more rainfall and rising sea levels as a result of climate change in the next 40 years, a study has found.

The managing director of Phetchaburi-based Sirindhorn International Environmental Park, Seeree Supratid, said yesterday the projections were based on a study his team had been conducting to determine the impact of global warming on the capital and its vicinity.

The study, which used statistics from 2008 as a basis, predicts that western Bangkok will be partly covered by water due to a rise in the sea level.

The eastern part would be affected more often by flooding caused by increasing rainfall.

It is believed the higher sea level could result in a sea surge as far as 1.8 kilometres inland.The water level in affected areas would vary depending on their distance from the shore.

Mr Seeree said as many as 700,000 people were expected to be affected. About 250,000 of these would be in Don Muang, Nong Chok, Bang Kho Laem and Yannawa districts, and the country's main business hubs of Silom and Sathon.

The study team predicts 1.16 million buildings would be affected by floods of at least 10 centimetres in depth including 900,000 residential buildings.

"Without any prevention plan, we may have to use our ground floors for keeping boats," Mr Seeree said.

"We have not yet seen any serious plan to prepare people to cope with the situation. The impact will be severe if we do not try to prevent it."

Mr Seeree said rainfall in Bangkok had increased by about 15% over the past 30 years, with the sea level rising by an average of 1.3cm each year.

The reduction in water retention and green areas that absorb water had put the capital more at risk of being submerged.Bangkok has only 400 square kilometres of green areas, half of what it had 30 years ago.

"We are lucky that rainfall and the excessive amount of water have been absorbed by upper provinces. Without the so-called 'monkey cheek' or water retention areas, floods in the capital could be worse," Mr Seeree said.

"However, it doesn't mean that Bangkok is now safe. If the water volume released by the Chao Phraya Dam reaches 4,000 cubic metres per second, Bangkok won't be able to escape from the floods."

Mr Seeree urged the government to build a five-metre-high sea wall along 80km of the coast to protect the capital.

at risk – in danger ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
affect – to produce a change in somebody/something กระทบ, ส่งผล, มีผลต่อ
climate – the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place สภาพอากาศ
projection – a calculation or guess about the future based on information that you have การคาดคะเน
conduct – to do something in an organised way; to carry out — ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
determine – to discover something by examining evidence to or calculate something กำหนด, ระบุ, แสดงผล
impact – an effect or influence  ผลกระทบ
vicinity – an area near a particular place บริเวณใกลเคียง
statistics – a collection of information shown in numbers วิชาสถิติ
basis – the important ideas, facts, or actions from which something can develop – รากฐาน, หลักพื้นฐาน, หลัก
predict – to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
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
surge – a sudden increase in something, in this case, the height of waves in the sea การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว ในที่นี้คือน้ำทะเลหนุน
inland – in a direction towards the middle of a country; away from the coast ห่างจากชายฝั่ง, ซึ่งอยู่ภายในประเทศ
vary – to be different in different situations  ปรวนแปร, เปลี่ยนแปลง, แตกต่าง
hub - the central or main part of something where there is most activity จุดศูนย์กลาง
depth – the distance down either from the top of something to the bottom, or to a distance below the top surface of something ความลึก
residential – of a place where people live
prevention – preventing something bad from happening การป้องกันภ้ย
cope – to deal successfully with a difficult situation  รับมือกับ
severe – very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
reduction – the process or result of making something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc การลดลง
retention – the act of keeping or storing something การเก็บ, การเก็บรักษา
absorb – to take in a liquid, gas or other substance form the surface or space around ซึมซับ ดูดกลืน
submerge – to cause to be under water  ทำให้จมน้ำ ทำให้อยู่ใต้น้ำ
excessive – much greater than is usual; too much of something   มากเกินปริมาณที่พอดี
volume – an amount of something ปริมาณ
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

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