A decades-long fight against the Chao Phraya River was lost yesterday when floodwaters broke through an embankment and submerged much of Wat Chai Watthanaram in Ayutthaya.
Ancient stupas at Wat Chai Watthanaram are left under two metres of floodwater after overflow from the Chao Phraya River burst through an embankment and inundated the temple’s compound in Ayutthaya’s Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district. SUNTHORN PONGPAO
Floods pound ancient temple
Ayutthaya heritage site swamped by 2m of water
The temple before it was suddenly inundated.
AYUTTHAYA : Officials struggled to drain water from World Heritage-listed Wat Chai Watthanaram after powerful overflow from the Chao Phraya River burst through an embankment and gushed into the 500-year-old temple.
The sudden surge put the temple, located on about 100 rai of land in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district, under two metres of swirling floodwater in just 10 minutes early yesterday.
The Portuguese Village, a traders' settlement during the ancient Ayutthaya Kingdom, was also badly hit.
The deluge also swept past the Ban Pom-Khlong Ta Khian road into a community behind Wat Chai Watthanaram, engulfing more than 200 homes.
Most residents, many still asleep, were caught off-guard and had to act quickly to save themselves and their belongings.
Provincial officials were ordered yesterday to quickly repair the flood wall and drain the temple grounds.
Ayutthaya governor Witthaya Piewpong said he hoped this would minimise damage to the ancient site.
A group of about 100 fine arts employees who have worked to protect the temple during the flooding season for decades were saddened by the events.
"We have a strong bond with this place," said employee Samli Bamphensin, 60. "We're very sorry it has finally been submerged."
The employees took turns guarding the site around the clock and regularly checked and repaired the flood wall.
However, their efforts were dashed when floodwater came bursting into their cherished temple.
The suddenness of the inundation sparked widespread speculation yesterday that Ayutthaya city centre, where the Chao Phraya, Pasak, Lob Buri and Noi rivers merge, may no longer be able to hold back the water.
However, Wim Rungwattanajinda, secretary of the Secretariat of the Prime Minister, was quick to ease fears.
He said although all 16 districts in the province have been declared disaster zones, only three historical sites had been flooded.
Besides Wat Chai Watthanaram and the Portuguese Village, the 500-year-old Pom Petch fort has been also been submerged by overflow from both the Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers.
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decades – periods of ten years เป็นสิบๆปี
submerge – to cause to be under water ทำให้จมน้ำ ทำให้อยู่ใต้น้ำ
ancient – very old ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
stupa – a mound-like (like a small hill) structure containing Buddhist relics (โบราณวัตถุ) สถูป
overflow – (of a river or body of water) flooding the land next to it การไหลล้น
burst – to break open suddenly because there is too much pressure inside or against โพล่ง, แตก, ระเบิด
embankment – a slope made of earth or stone that rises up from either side of a road, railway/railroad, river, etc. มูลดิน,ตลิ่งทาง
inundate – to flood; to submerge ท่วม, ทำให้จมลงใต้น้ำ
compound – an area in which a group of buildings stands บริเวณ
pound – to hit something/somebody hard many times, especially in a way that makes a lot of noise ตีกระหน่ำ, โจมตีต่อเนื่อง
World Heritage site – a place, building, structure, etc. that has been determined by the UN to be of great historical or culture value and is given a special protected status โบราณสถานที่เป็นมรดกโลก
swamp – to cover a place or thing with a large amount of water ทำให้ท่วม, ทำให้จมอยู่ในน้ำ
struggle – to try hard to do something that you find very difficult พยายาม
drain – to cause water or fluid to flow out ระบายออก
gush – (of a liquid) to flow quickly and in large quantities พุ่ง, ไหลออก
surge – a sudden increase in something, in this case, the flow of water การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
swirling – moving quickly in circles หมุนวนอย่างเร็ว
settlement – a place where people come to live ชุมชน
deluge – a sudden, very heavy rainfall or a sudden flow of a large amount of water ฝนตกหนัก น้ำปริมาณมาก
sweep – to move or spread quickly through an area; to move something or someone with powerful force เคลื่อนไปอย่างรวดเร็ว, พัดพาเอาไป
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
engulf – to cover or surround something in a way that harms or destroys it ปกคลุม
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
caught off-guard – to be surprised by something unexpected ตกตะลึง, งงงันม เผลอ
belongings – the things you own ข้าวของเครื่องใช้
repair – to fix something that is broken or damaged ซ่อมบำรุง
minimise – to reduce something harmful or unpleasant to the smallest amount or degree ลดให้เหลือน้อยที่สุด
employee – someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation ลูกจ้าง
bond – a close connection ความผูกพัน
take turns – (of a number of people) to do the same thing one after the other สลับกัน
around the clock – throughout the whole day and night; 24 hours ทั้งวันทั้งคืน
dash – to make it impossible for someone to do what they hoped to do ทำให้ไม่สมหวัง, ทำให้ผิดหวัง, ทำให้เสียกำลังใจ
cherish – to think that something is very important and to wish to keep it รักและเทิดทูน บูชา
inundation – flooding น้ำท่วม
spark – to make something happen, especially something bad ก่อให้เกิด
widespread – happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
speculation – ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information การคาดการณ์
merge – (of two or more groups) to join together to become one การรวมกัน
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
declare – to announce officially that something is true or happening ประกาศ
disaster – something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people ภัยพิบัติ ความหายนะ
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
fort – a building or buildings built in order to defend an area against attack ป้อมปราการ