City braces for tropical storms
State agencies are bracing for heavy rain and potential flooding with tropical storm Gaemi expected to lash the country over the next few days, and another large storm forecast to hit on Oct 20.
- Published: 5/10/2012 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
In a world of water
Pruksa housing estate in Chachoengsao’s Muang district has been inundated by overflow from Khlong Prawet BuriRom for about a week. The picture was taken from a camera mounted on a remote-controlled helicopter. SITHIKORNWONGWUDTHIANUN
The second storm has been named Phrapiroon, and is forecast to follow almost directly in the footsteps of Gaemi _ hitting the lower Northeast, East, Central region and upper South of the country.
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Government agencies are racing to prepare for the storms and to assure the public that they will be safe from flooding.
Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is ready to deal with any possible flood crisis.
Tropical storm Gaemi was reported to be moving slowly westward, some 950km east of Danang, Vietnam, yesterday.
The storm is expected to bring heavy rains to Thailand's lower Northeast and Central regions starting from today until Monday.
Mr Sukhumbhand stressed the need for BMA staff to work closely with officials from the Royal Irrigation Department. He said sluice gates at canals in the city have now been raised to help with drainage, and that BMA officials will meet at the Drainage and Sewerage Department to monitor the situation.
Adisak Khantee, deputy director of the department, said his agency is stepping up efforts to drain water away from the city's canals so they will be as dry as possible when the storm hits.
He said water pumps will be installed in areas most vulnerable to persistent flooding, while the BMA has its 95 emergency units _ known as BEST (Bangkok Emergency Service Team) _ ready for dispatch to help people in flooded areas.
About 5 million sandbags are also being prepared in case of emergency.
Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who also heads the government's Water and Flood Management Commission, said he had met agencies concerned and the governors of Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao and Bangkok to discuss measures to ensure at-risk areas are safe from flooding.
Chatchai Promlert, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, said the Interior Ministry has come up with emergency response measures, including food supplies and communication systems.
Mr Chatchai said the ministry has now issued emergency alerts to areas at risk of flooding, with evacuation drills already being held in those areas.
Bangkok deputy governor Wallop Suwandee said the BMA has installed more water pumps, as well as water propelling boats, to help speed up drainage at several canals in Bangkok.
Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said the military is also ready to cooperate if the government wants to use its land to help retain flood water.
The military was always on standby to help if Bangkok is hit by heavy rain, he said. Soldiers would be sent to help at trouble spots, provide transport assistance and help solve traffic problems.
"We would be glad to comply if the government wants to use the area of the 2nd Cavalry Division as a monkey cheek [water retention area] since there are many ponds and swamps in it. Other areas held by the 11th Infantry Regiment and 1st Infantry Regiment can also be similarly used," ACM Sukumpol said.
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEA) has been ordered to prepare for possible flash floods around factory zones. All industrial estates in western and eastern parts of Bangkok were directed to follow the water situation and deploy officials to monitor the water levels outside and around their flood prevention walls. Industrial estates in Ayutthaya are not expected to suffer problems because the construction of permanent floodwalls has been completed.
However, industrial estates in the eastern districts, particularly Lat Krabang estate, are at risk because they have no permanent flood prevention system; they have only temporary earthen barriers.
The IEA will work with the armed forces, the Royal Irrigation Department and the BMA to protect industrial zones in the east.
Governor Veerapong Chaiperm said a flood war room has been opened at its headquarters and will operate around the clock.
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- Writer: Post Reporters
- Position: Reporters