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Floods: Wuthip not a disaster (updated)

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Early reports from the upper northeast indicate that tropical depression Wuthip has not been as damaging as feared. Further south, the heavily flooded provinces of Prachinburi and Ubon Ratchathai were not hit by the storm 

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The city centre of Prachinburi as it looked from the air yesterday. With no rain overnight, the situation is noticeably better this morning. SITHIKORN WONGWUDTHIANUN

Noon update

The remnants of Wuthip are now moving into the North where 20mm - 40mm of rain is expected. There is hope that the rain will help replenish the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams where water levels are surprising low for this time of year. The Bhumibol dam is only 45% full and only 16% of that is actually useable.

Elsewhere Chaiyaphum province has been hit the hardest by the storm with 11 districts declared disaster areas from heavy rain over the past three days.

Tuesday morning update

Early reports indicate Wuthip has been far less damaging than feared. It missed the heavily flooded eastern region completely and with no rain last night, flood waters have been to recede in Prachinburi. It will be days, however, before most residents in the worst-hit areas can walk on dry land.

Ubon Ratchathani was also unscathed and the concern is now over water coming from elsewhere. Officials expect the flood to peak tomorrow and gradually recede, assuming no new storms enter the area.

Early morning reports from Nakhon Phanom indicate the city's old historical buildings did not suffer badly from wind damage and Kalasin, in the path of the storm, experienced only moderate rain.

0.5 - 1 meter-high flooded area in amphur Si Maha Pot in Prachinburi province. — Panorama by Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

More later.

Earlier stories

As of 9:45 this morning, wunderground.com was predicting Wutip would enter Thailand as a tropical storm late tonight and then weaken to a tropical depression. It will likely cause heavy rain over a wide area.

Evening update: Wuthip, rapidly being downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm and a tropical depression, has entered Vietnam above Hue and is headed toward Nakhon Phanom and the upper northeast. It will definitely cause local problems but is unlikely to have a major effect on big population centres, especially Bangkok. The major dams still have a lot of capacity for taking in water. Fortunately Wuthip will miss the heavily flooded areas of Si Sa Ket and Prachinburi further south, but these areas are still vulnerable to seasonal monsoon rains, which could be heavy tonight.

PM orders floodwater drainage

POST REPORTERS

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered officials to accelerate the drainage of Prachin Buri floodwater into nearby rivers.

Ms Yingluck on Sunday led a delegation to inspect the Krapor Yai sluice gate in the province's Kabin Buri district, which has been ravaged by floods.

The delegation included Chartthaipattana Party chief adviser Banharn Silpa-archa and Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute director Royol Chitradon.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and former premier Banharn Silpa-archa waded through an inspection of flooded areas at the Krapor Yai sluice gate in Prachin Buri's Kabin Buri district Sunday. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD


Ms Yingluck said she had asked officials to install more water pumps at the sluice gate to accelerate drainage of floodwater into the Prachin Buri and Bang Pakong rivers.

She also ordered local authorities to provide assistance to residents in flood-hit areas and open kitchens to help feed affected locals.

Meanwhile, severe Typhoon Wutip, the 21st storm of the typhoon season, is expected to make landfall over Vietnam Monday, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

After it makes landfall, Wutip (Cantonese for ``butterfly'') will weaken, but is expected to be a tropical depression when it moves into the upper Northeast. Heavy rainfall is likely throughout the entire upper half of Thailand, including most of the central plains area.

"On Monday afternoon, rain is expected in the eastern Northeast," the Thai Meteorological Department warned Sunday night. Wutip "is expected to bring isolated heavy rain and winds over the eastern and upper Northeast and the eastern North. [Affected] provinces include Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Kalasin, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Loei, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun."

The prime minister has assigned the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC) and the Royal Irrigation Department to survey areas that could be used to retain floodwater or dig drainage canals.

Prachin Buri governor Jittra Promchutima said the Prachin Buri River was the only waterway in the province used for flood drainage. The river passes Kabin Buri, Si Maha Phot, Muang and Bang Sang districts.

The province has been badly hit by flooding, as more water continued flowing in from neighbouring Sa Kaeo.

Efforts continue to keep industrial estate 304 operational in bad-flooded Si Maha Phot district of Prachinburi province. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

Persistent downpours since Sept 19 have caused water levels in the Prachin Buri River and its tributaries to rise sharply and inundate communities near the old market, Ms Jittra said.

Flooding has hit 363 villages in seven districts of the province, affecting about 12,000 households, nearly 95,000 rai of agricultural land and more than 600 fish farm ponds. The flooding has also affected 78,000 head of livestock. It has damaged 311 roads, six bridges, 36 temples and 42 schools. Two deaths have been confirmed.

Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, also chairman of the WFMC, said about 200 million cubic metres of water had been drained out of Prachin Buri. Another 800 million cu/m remained, he added

Royal Irrigation Department chief Lertworoj Kowattana said an average of 70 million cu/m could be drained into the river per day.

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Vocabulary:

accelerate: to happen or make something happen at a faster rate - เร่ง, เร่งความเร็ว, เพิ่มความเร็ว

advisor: a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject - ที่ปรึกษา

agricultural: of the science or practice of farming - ที่เกี่ยวกับเกษตรกรรม

assistance: help; aid - ความช่วยเหลือ

assume: to accept something to be true without question or proof - ทึกทักเอา, คิดว่าเป็นจริง,

authority: a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

average: an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts - เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย

commission: an official group of people who have been given responsibility to control something, or to find out about something, usually for the government - คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ

cubic metre: the volume of a cube with edges one metre in length - ลูกบาศก์เมตร

delegation: a group of people chosen or elected by a group to represent them - คณะผู้แทน, คณะบุคคลที่เป็นตัวแทนของคนกลุ่มใหญ่

depression: an area where the air pressure is low, often causing heavy rain - พายุดีเปรสชัน

deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

downpour: a lot of rain in a short time - ฝนตกหนักมาก, พายุฝน

drainage: the process of taking away of water or other liquids from an area - การระบายน้ำ

household: a group of people, often a family, who live together - ครัวเรือน

Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute: a public organisation providing information on water and agriculture - สถาบันสารสนเทศทรัพยากรน้ำและการเกษตร

indicate: to show that something is true, exists or will happen - แสดง, ทำให้รู้

inspect: to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด

isolated: set apart from; disconnected from - แยกออกมา ตั้งอยู่เดี่ยวๆ

landfall: the place where a storm coming from the sea first hits land - การเข้าหาแผ่นดิน

level: the amount of liquid that there is in a container, which can be seen by how high the liquid is - ระดับ

livestock: animals such as cows, sheep, chickens and pigs that are kept on farms - ปศุสัตว์

local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

Meteorological Department: the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future - กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา

moderate: neither very great nor very small in strength, size, amount or degree - ระดับปานกลาง

monsoon: the season of heavy rain during the summer in hot Asian countries - มรสุม

neighbouring: located or living near or next to a place or person - ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง

peak: to reach the highest amount or level, before becoming lower - ขึ้นจนถึงจุดสุดยอด

persistent: continuing - อย่างต่อเนื่อง, เรื่อยไป, ติดต่อกัน, ตลอดเวลา

plains: a large area of flat land - ที่ราบ

pond: a small area of still water, especially one that is artificial - บ่อน้ำ, สระน้ำ

predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า

pump: a piece of equipment for making a liquid or gas move into or out of something - เครื่องสูบ(น้ำ etc.)

ravaged: destroyed; damaged very badly - ถูกทำลาย, เสียหาย, ถูกล้างผลาญ

recede: to move back; to move further away into the distance; subside - ลดลง, ถอยหลัง

remnants: the remaining parts of something - ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่

replenish: to make something full again by replacing what has been used - เติมเต็มใหม่

resident: a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้ที่อาศัยในท้องที่

retain: to keep, continue to have, or to store something - เก็บไว้, สงวนไว้

Royal Irrigation Department: The Thai government department in charge of the country's irrigation system - กรมชลประทาน

severe: very serious and unpleasant - รุนแรง

sluice gate: a gate that can be opened or closed to control the flow water along a passage - ประตูน้ำปิดเปิดบังคับการไหลของน้ำในคลอง

suffer: to experience something very unpleasant or painful - ประสบ

survey: the act of examining and recording the measurements, features, etc. of an area of land - การสำรวจ, การหาข้อมูล

tributary: a river or stream that flows into a larger river or a lake - แม่น้ำสายย่อย, สาขาของแม่น้ำ

tropical storm: the first level of dangerous storm: "A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds between 34 knots (39 mph) and 64 knots (74 mph). At this point, the distinctive cyclonic shape starts to develop, although an eye is not usually present. Government weather services first assign names to systems that reach this intensity (thus the term named storm)" (Source: Wikipedia) - พายุโซนร้อน, พายุดีเปรสชันที่มีกำลังแรงขึ้น เกิดขึ้นในเขตร้อน ความเร็วลมบริเวณใกล้ศูนย์กลางประมาณ 70-120 กิโลเมตรต่อชั่วโมง [พจนานุกรมศัพท์ สสวท.]

typhoon: a tropical storm with strong winds that move in circles - พายุไต้ฝุ่น

unscathed: not harmed or damaged by something bad that has happened - ไม่ได้เสียหาย, ไม่ได้รับบาดเจ็บ

vulnerable: easily damaged or harmed - ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย

wade: to walk with an effort through something, especially water or mud - ลุย เดินท่องน้ำ หรือ โคลน

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