Flood situation worsens as crisis becomes political

Flood waters continue to move deeper into Bangkok as the city and national governments just can't seem to fully cooperate with each other.

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Traffic drives through the flooded streets in Lat Phrao. Hundreds of thousands of people have been told to evacuate soaked Bangkok districts but many choose to stay. AFP

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BMA gives Froc crisis ultimatum


The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has given the government an ultimatum to start cooperating or it will ditch the existing plans it has to tackle the city's floods.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday the BMA would come up with a new flood management plan if the Flood Relief Operations Command (Froc) does not spell out by tomorrow how it will cooperate in tackling the floods.

The BMA asked the Froc to provide water pumps and speed up flood drainage operations a week ago, but it had not received any response, the governor said.

City Hall also asked the Froc to instruct the Royal Irrigation Department to open its 20 sluice gates in Nong Chok district to speed up water drainage to the Bang Pakong River in Chachoengsao province, but only nine of 20 sluice gates had been opened.

"If the BMA doesn't get tangible support from the Froc within 48 hours, we will review our flood management plan," MR Sukhumbhand said. He did not elaborate.

The Irrigation Department, on behalf of the government, denied it was refusing to cooperate. It said the BMA asked the wrong agency for the loan of pumps.

Ram Intra residents test a makeshift boat made from a plastic bowl and a fan. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

The growing dispute between the Froc and BMA came as the flood crisis worsened in several parts of Bangkok.

The governor said overflow from Vibhavadi Rangsit Road and Lat Phrao intersection was likely to reach Din Daeng, Saphan Kwai, and the Victory Monument within days since the Bang Sue canal, which is an important water drainage route in the area, was swollen and could not take more water.

On Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, water on the road's inbound lanes in front of St John University was about 30cm.

The government was confident, however, that flooding in the northern part of the city would ease following the completion of the first six kilometres of the big-bag flood barrier on Saturday night.

Transport Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat said the Froc has completed the big bag barrier, made of thousands of giant sand bags, to the north of Bangkok. The barrier runs from Lak Hok, Chulalongkorn sluice gate, the area above Don Mueang airport, to Khlong Sam Wa. Each bag weighs 2.5 tonnes.

The barrier was intended to stop flooding from the North that has been moving into central Bangkok within seven days.

evacuate – to leave a place because it is not safe อพยพออกจากพื้นที่
soaked – very wet  เปียกโชก
crisis - a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
ultimatum – a statement that orders someone to do something and threatens to punish or attack them if they do not คำขาด
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) – the local government of Bangkok กรุงเทพมหานคร
cooperate – to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved ร่วมมือกัน
ditch – to stop a plan, project, proposal, etc. ละทิ้ง
tackle – to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem จัดการกับปัญหา
Flood Relief Operations Centre (Froc) – the government's centre for assisting flood victims ศูนย์ปฎิบัติการช่วยเหลือผู้ประสบอุทกภัย(ศปภ)
spell out – to explain something in detail ระบุรายละเอียด
drainage – the process of taking away of water or other liquids from an area  การระบายน้ำ
operation – an activity which is planned to achieve something การดำเนินการ
City Hall – a city government, in this case, the Bangkok city government  กรุงเทพมหานคร
Royal Irrigation Department – The Thai government department in charge of the country's irrigation system กรมชลประทาน
sluice gate – a gate that can be opened or closed to control the flow water along a passage ประตูน้ำปิดเปิดบังคับการไหลของน้ำในคลอง
tangible – real or not imaginary; able to be shown, touched or experienced ชัดเจน
elaborate – to add more information to or explain something that you have said อธิบายเพิ่มเติม
on behalf of – as a representative of ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
deny – to say that something is not true or does not exist ปฏิเสธ
loan – borrowing something; something borrowed การให้ยืม, สิ่งที่ให้ยืม
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
makeshift – using whatever is available and therefore not very good   สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน
dispute – a serious disagreement  ข้อโต้แย้ง
crisis - a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
overflow – (of a river or body of water)  water flooding the land next to it การไหลล้น
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
swollen – larger or fuller than normal  ขยายใหญ่,พองตัว,บวม
inbound – travelling towards a particular point, particularly into a city ขาเข้า (opposite of outbound ขาออก)
confident – being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
completion – the act or process of finishing something; the state of being finished and complete  การทำเสร็จ
barrier – a wall, pile of sandbags, etc., that prevents water from entering สิ่งกีดขวาง
intended – planned; wanted to happen  ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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