Floods target historic sites in Ayutthaya | Bangkok Post: news

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Ayutthaya floods threaten archaeological site

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AYUTTHAYA - Pom Phet Fort is on the verge of being flooded from the rising water levels in the Chao Phraya and Pa Sak rivers. 

Pupils at Ban Kracheng school in Muang district, Pathum Thani, wade to class on Tuesday. Pathum Thani is one of 24 provinces being flooded. (Photo by Kosol Nakachon) Maitree Pitinanont, chief of irrigation projects in Ayutthaya, expressed concern on Thursday about the situation at the 700-year-old riverside fort, which is a main attraction for tourists.Water was seeping through and over sandbags erected along the riverbanks and had reached the ground of the fort, Mr Maitree said.Workers were racing to pile up more sandbags to prevent the water inundating the site and the Marine Department had ordered people using boats in the area to slow down.The fort's location where the two rivers meet in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district makes it prone to flooding. Heavy rains on Wednesday night worsened the situation.More equipment was installed at Wat Chaiwattanaram, an ancient temple by the Chao Phraya, to pump out seeping water from the compound.Ayutthaya was continuing to battle floods as the Chao Phraya dam in Chai Nat was still discharging water at the rate of 2,195 cubic metres a second and the Phra Ram VI dam in Ayutthaya is releasing more water into the Pasak at the rate of 500 cu/m per second. Both discharge rates are higher than normal.Ayutthaya is one of the hardest hit provinces as it is situated downstream. Eight districts of the province remain flooded and irrigation officials were directing water to an area of 100,000 rai in Bang Ban district used as a kam ling, or monkey cheek water retention area.Villagers living in kam ling were evacuated to higher ground if they decided to not stay at home.Ampai Sudsakorn, a villager at the Bang Ban 1 water retention area, urged officials to elevate a local road to her village, Rong, to help ease transport problems."Villagers have to row their boats for more than 2 kilometres to the closest high ground," she said.Ayutthaya is one of 24 provinces being hit by the floods, which have claimed 27 lives and affected...

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