Water in three main canals in Bangkok is approaching critical levels as a storm triggered by Typhoon Nari brings heavy downpours to the city.
A worker removes a fallen tree from Phloenchit Road in front of the British Embassy yesterday morning following heavy downpours in Bangkok. KOSOL NAKACHOL
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's (BMA) flood prevention centre yesterday said the rain led to an average rise of 20cm in water levels in Khlong Lat Phrao, Khlong Premprachakorn and Khlong San Saeb.
The centre said crew are currently speeding up the drainage of water from swollen canals, particularly from Khlong San Saeb to the Chao Phraya River.
Bangkok's eastern and northern districts _ Nong Chok, Min Buri and Klong Sam Wa, Sai Mai, Don Muang, Lat Krabang, Kannayao, and Prawet _ were hardest-hit by the rain.
Bangkok governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday inspected water levels in Khlong San Saeb in Nong Chok and Min Buri districts in the east of the city.
He also visited housing estates which were inundated.
MR Sukhumbhand said the Drainage and Sewerage Department set up pumps to drain water from the estates into the Khlong Saen Saeb.
Drainage and Sewerage Department director Adisak Kanti said BMA officials are working around the clock to drain floods from city roads.
Nari has also hit some provinces in the Central Plains, the East and the lower Northeast. The typhoon made landfall at Da Nang, Vietnam yesterday and had changed into a low pressure cell by the time it arrived in Thailand.
The Meteorological Department said more isolated heavy downpours are expected until today in Bangkok, the Central Plains, the East and the lower Northeast, particularly in Mukdahan, Amnat Charoen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.
Nari yesterday moved over Mukdahan, Amnat Charoen and Ubon Ratchathani provinces.
The storm also affected Chachoengsao, Sa Kaeo, Prachin Buri and Chon Buri in the East; Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket, Yasothon, Roi Et and Maha Sarakham in the Northeast; and Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi in the Central Plains.
Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who is chairman of the Water and Flood Management Commission, said the flood situation in the East is getting worse because Nari has brought more rain to the area while 1.5 billion cubic metres of water remain in fields and has yet to be drained into the Bang Pakong River.
Mr Plodprasop said it will take about 45 days to drain the floodwaters in the eastern provinces into the Bang Pakong River.
In the eastern province of Chachoengsao, Nari brought floods to Wellgrow Industrial Estate in Bang Pakong district which is now under 30-50cm of water. Some roads in Chachoengsao's Muang district were also flooded and impassable.