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Battle for Bangkok (updated)

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City officials are still saying the inner city should be safe but they sound much less confident than yesterday after the city’s outer defences struggle to cope. 

Military personnel bring more sandbags to strengthen flood barricades to try to save the flood-ravaged Bang Bua Thong market in Nonthaburi’s Bang Bua Thong municipality. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

Evening update: 21:00


The situation is rather confused tonight after the the Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC)  was reported to have said that major sand dykes in Pathum Thani Province had collapsed and residents in northern parts of Bangkok needed to evacuate quickly.

Soon afterwards, however, that same centre held a press conference in which official after official said the situation was under control and that most of Bangkok would stay relatively dry.

Finally, a few minutes ago, the FROC apologised for sending out an incorrect warning.

confused – very unclear สับสน
Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC) – the government's centre for assisting flood victims ศูนย์ปฎิบัติการช่วยเหลือผู้ประสบอุทกภัย(ศปภ)
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
collapse – to fall down suddenly พังลงมา  ล้ม, พังครืน
evacuate – to cause to leave a place because it is not safe เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก

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Evacuation plan readied

City close to losing last line of defence

Apinya Wipatayotin, Thanida Tansubhapol & Pradit Ruangdit

The capital's 50 district offices have been told to prepare for evacuations as northern Bangkok's last line of defence is close to being breached by flood water.

The red alert was sent out by Bangkok governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday after inspecting the floodwall at Muang Ake housing estate in Pathum Thani's Muang district — less than 15km north of the city.

The governor warned 27 communities in eastern Bangkok would probably be hardest hit.

The floodwall has been built with more than 200,000 sandbags. It is 3km long and stands 1.5m high.

City Hall workers yesterday were sent to reinforce the embankment and make it 30cm higher.

"If the water keeps rising, I am not sure if it can prevent flooding. If not, we cannot save Don Muang," ML Sukhumbhand said.

"All zones in Bangkok stand an equal chance of being flooded because we can't predict the water flow.

"Right now, everything is under control.

"If we can't control it, we will let people know straight away."

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said about 8 billion cubic metres of water from Nakhon Sawan is expected to reach Ayutthaya tomorrow and the run-off would probably enter Bangkok soon after.

"We must speak the truth," she said, adding the government will do everything it can to divert water to the east and the west of Bangkok and drain it out to sea.

Ms Yingluck said the three floodwalls protecting the inner city are expected to be completed by today.

Wim Rungwattanajinda, spokesman for the flood relief centre, said the government has ordered the Irrigation Department to step up efforts to drain water in western Bangkok and eastern Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand.

Northern run-off will be diverted to western Bangkok through Khlong Phraphimol, Khlong Lat Pho, Khlong Maha Sawat and Khlong Phasi Charoen before the water is drained out to the Tha Chin River and the Gulf.

The Irrigation Department has been instructed to put in place water pumps to divert water from the canals to the Gulf and to open more than 20 water gates along the Tha Chin River and the Chao Phraya River to drain water to the sea.

Mr Wim said emphasis will be placed on diverting water from Khlong Maha Sawat, which directly connects with Tha Chin and Chao Phraya, and this could affect canal-side residents. However, the situation will improve after Sunday, he said.

personnel – the people who are employed in a company, organisation or one of the armed forces บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
barricade – a temporary structure that is built to prevent flooding, people from getting through, etc. แผงหรือแนวรั้วกั้น
ravaged – destroyed damaged very badly  ถูกทำลาย, เสียหาย, ถูกล้างผลาญ
municipality – a town, city or district with its own local government เทศบาล
evacuation – moving people from a place of danger to a safer place การอพยพ
defence – protecting somebody/something from damage, attack, etc.  การป้องกัน, การต้าน, การพิทักษ์
line of defence – a structure like a wall, dyke,
barricade that prevents something bad from entering – a flood, an enemy, etc.
breach – to break through or over something ข้าม, ทำให้แตก
alert – a warning to people to be prepared to deal with something dangerous การเตรียมพร้อม
red alert – a warning of a serious danger
inspect – to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
housing estate – residential estate; an area containing a large number of houses or apartments built close together at the same time บ้านจัดสรร
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
reinforce – to make stronger เสริมให้แข็งแรงขึ้น
embankment – a slope made of earth or stone that rises up from either side of a road, railway/railroad, river, etc. มูลดิน,ตลิ่งทาง
prevent – to stop something from happening กัน, กีดขวาง
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
predict – to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
flow – the continuous movement of a liquid in one direction การไหล
straight away – immediately; happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
run-off – rain, water or other liquid that runs off land into streams and rivers น้ำหลาก
divert – to cause something to change direction เบนเส้นทางเดินน้ำ
drain – to get rid of the water in an area of land ระบายออก
protect – to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน
relief – help; assistance การช่วยให้พ้นภัย
irrigation – the process of bringing water to land through a system of pipes, ditches, etc. in order to make crops grow ระบบชลประทาน
step up – to increase เพิ่ม
instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
emphasis – special importance or attention that is given to one thing in particular การเน้นย้ำ
residents – people living in a particular area ประชาชนผู้อยู่อาศัยในบริเวณ
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์
improve – to get better  ดีขึ้น

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