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Storm watch

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For the first time this year, weather watchers have a storm system to watch in the South China Sea. Newly-named as GAEMI (21W), it is expected to grow into a significant tropical storm or worse and head in our direction. 

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Keep your eyes on a developing storm system in the South China Sea between the Philippines and Vietnam. If forecasters are correct, it could be dumping torrential rain on parts of Thailand, including Bangkok, by the weekend. Photo from Japan's MTSAT-2.

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Tropical storm raises deluge fear

King doesn't see floods lasting for long this year


Now available at SE-ED and other major bookstores: Thailand submerged, the Bangkok Post's coverage of the Great Floods of 2011 with special help for English language learners, including vocabulary, Thai explanations and sound files.

A tropical storm forming in the South China Sea is expected to hit Thailand this weekend, threatening the Northeast and the Central Plains, including Bangkok, with heavy downpours.

"If our forecast is correct, it will be the first tropical storm to hit the country this year," said Prawit Jampanya, acting director of the Weather Forecast Bureau.

The warning, which raises new concerns over flooding, was announced yesterday by the Meteorological Department. It said a tropical depression, located about 600 kilometres east of Da Nang, Vietnam yesterday, is expected to turn into a storm in the middle of this week and is likely to hit central Vietnam between Thursday and Friday.

The storm is expected to move westward on Saturday and Sunday bringing heavy rains on its path through Laos, northeastern and central Thailand to Tak's Mae Sot district and Myanmar, Mr Prawit said.

Affected provinces will be mainly those located downstream from various dams, so people in these areas need to brace for flooding, he said.

"But the storm will not last long," Mr Prawit said. "It will keep on moving. That means it will only stay in Thailand a short time, for only three days."

Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn said yesterday that His Majesty the King is worried about the country's flood situation.

Speaking during a function in Udon Thani province yesterday, the princess said the King and the Queen's health were good.

His Majesty, however, was concerned about the current floods in many parts of the country, she said. He always studies a map on his hospital bed and thinks about flood prevention projects.

But the princess said: "When I asked if there will be a [major] flood this year, His Majesty said flooding will be minor and won't last long," she said.

A construction worker builds a floodwall in front of Don Mueang airport on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok yesterday. The airport was severely flooded late last year. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Royal Irrigation Department spokesman Boonsanong Suchatpong said the water levels in the Chao Phraya River have been regulated to stay between two and four metres below the banks in Ayutthaya and Nakhon Sawan to cope with the extra run-off.

Bangkok is also preparing for the impact of the storm, which is expected to bring an average rainfall of 90 millimetres, said Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday.

Floodwaters from the rain will be drained from the streets in one hour, except in 206 flood-prone spots where drainage times may last two to three hours, he said.

The city is expected to experience drier weather this week,

Residents on the Pathum Thani side of the Khlong Song sluice gate demand that it be raised to allow flood water to flow out of their communities. APICHIT JINAKUL

Meanwhile, the city's Department of Drainage and Sewerage has decided to raise the sluice gate at Khlong Song in Sai Mai district by 15 centimetres after locals threatened to block a road. The residents have demanded that the city raise the sluice gates at Khlong Song, Khlong Lam Mo Taek and Khlong Phraya Suren, which have been shut to protect Bangkok from floods.

The closure has caused floods in communities near Khlong Hok Wa and in tambon Khukhot in Pathum Thani.

You can read the full story here:

torrential rain – extremely heavy rain ฝนไหลเชี่ยว
tropical – relating to the hottest area of the Earth, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn ในเขตร้อน
deluge – a sudden, very heavy rainfall or a sudden flow of a large amount of water ฝนตกหนัก น้ำปริมาณมาก
last – to continue for a particular length of time กินเวลา
threaten – to put at risk; to put in danger ทำให้ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
downpour – a lot of rain in a short time ฝนตกหนักมาก, พายุฝน
forecast – to make a statement about what is likely to happen, especially relating to the weather พยากรณ์(อากาศ)
bureau – a government organisation, in this case, within weather department สำนักงาน
concern – a worry ความกังวล
Meteorological Department – the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
depression – an area where the air pressure is low, often causing heavy rain พายุดีเปรสชัน
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
downstream – in the direction that a river or stream is flowing ตามทิศทางของกระแสน้ำ,ตามน้ำ,ตามกระแสน้ำ
brace for – to get ready for something unpleasant เตรียมรับมือ
function – a social event or official ceremony งาน,พิธี
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
prevention – preventing something bad from happening การป้องกันภ้ย
minor – not important; small; having little influence or effect เล็กน้อย
severely – very seriously อย่างรุนแรง
Royal Irrigation Department – The Thai government department in charge of the country's irrigation system กรมชลประทาน
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
regulate – to control ควบคุม
bank – a raised area of land along the side of a river  ริมฝั่งแม่น้ำ
cope with – to deal successfully with a difficult situation or job จัดการกับปัญหา แก้ปัญหา
run-off – rain, water or other liquid that runs off land into streams and rivers น้ำหลาก
impact – an effect or influence  ผลกระทบ
average – an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย
drain – to cause water or fluid to flow out ระบายออก
-prone – (suffix) likely to experience a particular problem more often than is usual ที่มีแนวโน้ม
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
sluice gate – a gate that can be opened or closed to control the flow water along a passage ประตูน้ำปิดเปิดบังคับการไหลของน้ำในคลอง
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
Department of drainage and sewerage – The Bangkok city department in charge of draining rainwater and maintaining the city's sewer system สำนักการระบายน้ำ
demand – to ask for something very firmly เรียกร้อง, ต้องการ
locals – people who live in a particular place ชาวบ้าน
threaten – to say that you might do something bad or harmful, especially in order to make someone do something  ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง

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