For many people, including myself, watching Dr Seree Supratid’s flood analysis is part of the nightly routine.
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Ajarn Seree Supratid on one of his water inspection tours in Bangkok suburbs. The academic who teaches disaster management at Rangsit University co-hosts Vikraw Satanakarn Nam, a nightly news programme on the Thai PBS channel, and has become a household name among Thai television viewers. CHUMPORN SANGVILERT
For many people, including myself, watching Dr Seree Supratid’s flood analysis is part of the nightly routine. Recently, the Bangkok Post’s Life team spent much of a day with him and his co-presenter Darin Klong-ugkara. Here is an excerpt from the feature that resulted and which was published in today’s Bangkok Post.
A matter of credibility
For over a month now flood-weary citizens in Bangkok and its vicinities have been glued to television everyday watching the news programme, Vikraw Satanakarn Nam (Analysing the Flood Situation) that airs at 8pm on the Thai PBS channel.
Hosted by Assoc Prof Seree Supratid, a lecturer on disaster management at Rangsit University, and Darin Klong-ugkara, the channel's news editor, they have captivated the viewer's attention with their daily updates and prognosis of the flood situation in inundated areas and those at risk.
The 15-minute programme is popular because it feeds the public's appetite for information about the situation in their neighbourhoods. With elaborate and easy-to-understand graphics of flood routes and maps, the programme provides flood warnings and predictions with great accuracy and in great detail, complete with direction of flow of floodwaters, timing of their arrival and areas at imminent risk of flooding. It is information people do not get from the government or the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
Explaining why he accepted becoming a flood analyst and adviser to the channel Thai PBS, he said there was utter confusion among the public: For example, somebody would remark a huge body of water was moving this way or that and it would set off a panic. ''Somebody needed to check out, visit the site and investigate the cause,'' said Ajarn Seree.
''You simply cannot look at maps or board a helicopter to understand the situation,'' he said. ''You need to look at the real condition of canals, water flow and related geographies, real condition of flood gates in order to be able to explain why water recedes so slowly or flows in a certain direction and how to better drain it out.
Ajarn Seree with Darin Klong-ugkara, the Thai PBS news editor. CHUMPORN SANGVILERT
For Ajarn Seree, a typical day starts at nine when the Thai PBS team, comprising four crew including Darin, pick him up at the Rama Gardens Hotel where he's been staying since the flooding began.
In the car, an off-roader, Ajarn Seree gets flood updates from Darin who constantly monitors the situation on her phone. Then they make a decision as to which place to visit.
The inspection lasts until sunset when Ajarn Seree goes to the Thai PBS station on Vibhavadi Road, where a graphics team helps him with calculations and charts showing the flow of water, speed and its direction.
The Vikraw Satanakarn Nam team works seven days a week, 9am to 9pm, but for Darin it is until midnight. It's been that for over a month now. Often Ajarn Seree eats lunch at 3 or 4pm, if he can find time at all.
Ajarn Seree said he would not forget a phone call from a flood victim.
''A woman called me and (when I picked up the phone) she said 'if you did not pick up the phone I will commit suicide.' I told her please don't.
''I told her 'you suffer from one- or two-metre deep water, in my case it is three metres deep,' '' Ajarn Seree spoke to her about his severely flooded home in Muang Ek Estate in Rangsit. ''She became surprised and asked me if I was a flood victim too, and I said I was an evacuee.''
Ajarn Seree is indeed waiting for his time to return home. Like the message he has been preaching, ''try to live with floods'', he has tried to stay calm, but like others sharing his fate he gets this sinking feeling once he starts thinking about his own situation and his house, which has been under water for so long.
''In my mind there is always this worry: What to do with my house. After the floods recede, I am sure there will be plenty for me to do for my family.''
You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/tdOQez
inspection – the act of looking closely at something or someone and to check that everything is as it should be; examination การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
suburb – an area or town near a large city but away from its centre ชานเมือง
academic – someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job นักวิชาการ
disaster – something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people ความหายนะ ภัยพิบัติ
host – to introduce a television or radio programme, a show, etc. ทำหน้าที่เป็นพิธีกร
household name – someone who is very well known to most people
analysis – the detailed study or examination of something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study การวิเคราะห์
routine – the normal order and way in which you regularly do things กิจวัตรประจำ
excerpt – a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. บทคัดย่อ
matter – a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
credibility – the degree to which something can be believed or trusted ความน่าเชื่อถือ,ความน่าไว้วางใจ
weary – very tired, especially because of hard work or activity เหนื่อยอ่อน, เหน็ดเหนื่อย
vicinity – an area near a particular place บริเวณใกลเคียง
glued to television – watching television with great interest ติดตามการถ่ายทอดอย่างใจจดใจจ่อ
captivate – to hold the attention of someone by being extremely interesting, exciting, pleasant or attractive จับใจ,ประทับใจ
prognosis – a judgement about how something is likely to develop in the future การทำนาย,การคาดคะเน
inundated – flooded ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ
at risk – in danger ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
popular – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
appetite – a strong desire for something ความอยาก, ความปรารถนา
neighbourhood – a particular area of a city or town ละแวก, ย่าน
elaborate – containing a lot of careful detail or many detailed parts อย่างรอบคอบ, ละเอียด, ที่บรรจง
prediction – a statement about what you think will happen in the future คำพยากรณ์,คำทำนาย,การพยากรณ์
accuracy – the state of being exact or correct; the ability to do something skilfully without making mistakes ความแม่นยำ
detail – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด
flow – the continuous movement of a liquid in one direction การไหล
imminent – expected to happen soon ในไม่ช้า จวนเจียน จวนตัว
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) – the local government of Bangkok กรุงเทพมหานคร
adviser – a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject ที่ปรึกษา
utter – complete อย่างที่สุด
confusion – a feeling that you do not understand something or cannot decide what to do ความสับสน
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
panic – a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
site – a place where something is located สถานที่
investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
condition – the physical state of a person, animal, place or thing สภาพ
recede – to move back; to move further away into the distance; subside ลดลง, ถอยหลัง
drain – to cause water or fluid to flow out ระบายออก
typical – happening in the usual way; showing what something is usually like ตามแบบฉบับ, ตามปกติ
comprise – to consist or be made up of two or more things or people ประกอบด้วย
off-roader – a vehicle designed for driving on rough ground, off the main roads รถซึ่งไม่จำเป็นใช้กับถนนสาธารณะ
update – the most recent information or news about something ข้อมูลใหม่ๆ
constantly – continuously; all the time อย่างต่อเนื่อง
monitor – to regularly check something or watch someone in order to find out what is happening ตรวจสอบ ตรวจตรา
sunset – the time of the evening when the sun is no longer seen พระอาทิตย์ตกดิน
calculation – the act or process of using numbers to find out an amount การคาดการณ์
direction – the way something is moving or coming from ทิศทาง
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
suicide – the action of deliberately killing yourself การฆ่าตัวตาย
suffer – to experience something very unpleasant or painful ประสบ
severely – very seriously อย่างรุนแรง
evacuee – a person who leaves a place of danger ผู้อพยพ
preach – to give somebody advice on moral standards, behaviour, etc สั่งสอ
calm – peaceful and quiet; without anxiety ใจเย็น,ไม่ตื่นเต้น, สงบ
fate – the things that happen or will happen to someone ชะตากรรม
sinking feeling – ความรู้สึกกระสับกระส่ายเมื่อตระหนักว่าสิ่งเลวร้ายได้เกิดขึ้นหรือที่จะเกิดขึ้น