Rising waters rival previous flood, raising Sa Kaeo fears

Sa Kaeo remained cut off by widespread floods Monday, raising fears the deluge could be worse than the massive flooding in the province in 2011.

  • Published: 8/10/2013 at 12:58 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Flood victims in Aranyaprathet municipality in Sa Kaeo squeeze into a truck shuttling residents through the flooded community. (Photos by Thiti Wannamontha)

In Muang district, Highway 359 (Aranyaprathet-Kao Hinson) and a 1-kilometre section of Highway 33 (Kabin Buri-Sa Kaeo) were under 50cm of water. The routes were impassible to motorists.

In Aranyaprathet municipality, Promhod canal burst its banks, turning the normally bustling border town into a swamp, with floodwaters reaching 1.5m deep in some areas.

The flooding has stoked fears among locals that this year's floods could be more critical than those of 2011, when a three-day deluge in Aranyaprathet caused economic losses of more than 100 million baht.

Combined forces of rescue workers, police and soldiers in the district are helping residents.

The overflowing Promhod canal also flooded Cambodia's Poipet town opposite Aranyaprathet.

Authorities are now worried the massive volume of water could pour into Khlong Luek, which could aggravate the flooding in the Rong Kluea border market in Aranyaprathet.

The floods that have submerged the market since Sunday subsided to about 10cm Monday.

Meanwhile, flooding in Prachin Buri has worsened.

Massive volumes of floodwater from Sa Kaeo brought more floods to Kabin Buri district with a key market in tambon Kabin submerged under 1.3m of water.

The water level in Ban Sang and Si Maha Phot districts was also reported to be more than 1m deep.

The rising water level also forced the State Railway of Thailand to suspend rail services between Aranyaprathet and Wattananakorn stations.

In Chanthaburi's Pong Nam Ron district, a 48-year-old man was swept away by strong currents which submerged a bridge in tambon Khlong Yai. Arthit Pangket's body was retrieved later from the water.

Several outlying areas of the province were still affected by forest runoff.

Heavy rains also triggered floods in the western part of the country.

In Ratchaburi's Suan Phung district, forest runoff increased the Phachee waterway level, damaging two bridges and swamping a riverside property.

Provincial rescue workers had to be sent in to help residents of more than 30 households trapped in Ban Thung Kula in tambon Tranaosri.

Kanchanaburi governor Chaiwat Limwattana said the rising level of the Phachee waterway is threatening low-lying areas in Dan Makham Tia and Muang districts.

He also warned locals to move their belongings to higher ground and ordered all district chiefs to go on standby to supervise flood relief operations around the clock.

In Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district, the flood in the municipality area has eased as authorities drained water into the sea.

Pongnaret, Hua Na and Kao Takiab villages, however, were still under 50-70cm of water.

In the western part of the district, runoff from the Tranaosri mountain range cut off Huay Sat Yai village, which prompted authorities to close the Pa La-u waterfall for the sake of tourist safety.

Floods were also reported in Sam Roi Yot district.

More than 1,000 households have been hit by floods in Hua Hin and Sam Roi Yot districts.

In the Central Plains, surging water levels in the Chao Phraya River swamped tambon Ban Krachang of Pathum Thani's Muang district, affecting more than 300 homes.

Tambon Ban Krachang administrative organisation chief Winai Nateprarit said heavy rain over three days and the accelerated release of water from the Pasak Cholasid dam have raised the level of the Chao Phraya River.

In Sam Khok district, communities near Wat Thai Ko Yai in tambon Bang Krabue have been flooded for seven days with water reaching up to 50cm deep.

In Nonthaburi municipality, the Chao Phraya River overflowed its banks and flooded riverside communities near the Thanam Non area.

Local administrators had to raise the flood wall made with sandbags from 2.3m up to 2.7m in an effort to guard against further flooding in the area.

In Bangkok, the high tide in the Chao Phraya River flooded a community near Bavorn Mongkol jetty in Charan Sanitwong Soi 46 of Bang Phlat district Monday.

According to the head of the local community, floods affected houses behind Bavorn Mongkol police station, which are unprotected by flood barriers.

The floodwater also penetrated the flood wall by way of sewers and cracked concrete roads in front of the station.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Drainage and Sewerage Department has been asked to provide more sandbags and water pumps to drain water from the area.

A scene in Aranyaprathet, near the Cambodian border, on Monday. Flooding also is reported in Cambodia and other neighbouring countries.

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