The Water and Flood Management Commission has told authorities to inspect flood levees in four flood-risk provinces after the flood barriers in Sukhothai were breached.
The construction of new concrete dykes to serve as a flood wall along the Chao Phraya Riverin Nakhon Sawan is under way. Provincialauthorities say there will be no repeat of last year’s major flooding. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD
Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who heads the WFMC, said yesterday officials will be assigned to check the flood walls in Nakhon Sawan, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, and Ayutthaya.
The flood dykes in those provinces have been in use for a long time, as were those in Sukhothai municipality which were breached by floodwaters on Monday.
Overflow from the Yom River broke through eroded bases beneath flood walls to swamp parts of the city on Monday, sending floodwaters into the municipality which in some places were two metres deep.
He said the flood levels in Sukhothai's Muang district have stabilised and are now receding.
He believed the situation was improving and a team of engineers from the Royal Irrigation Department with experience in repairing the Bangchomsri sluice gate in Sing Buri's In Buri district would then begin fixing the broken flood barrier.
Workers were laying flood barriers known as gabion baskets around the broken part of the levees to stop the water. The work should be complete by early today , Prasopsuk Suksuwan, head of Sukhothai municipality's engineering section, said.
Gabions are metal cages filled with rocks, concrete or sand and soil.
About 500 gabion baskets were needed, Mr Prasopsuk said.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk said 60 water pumps would be installed to drain out floodwater in flooded areas within two days.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she would visit Phitsanulok and Sukhothai today to observe the flood situation and assess the possible impact as the water moved downstream.
Dams still were capable of receiving more rainfall, she said.
The breaching on Monday of the flood barrier in Sukhothai was a factor which the government could not control, she said.
Regarding flooding in Bang Sai and Bang Ban districts in Ayutthaya, Mr Plodprasop said flooding usually occurs every year in these districts, which are low-lying areas.
He expected the flooding to last between six to 10 weeks.
The situation is expected to return to normal in November, he said.
He also told authorities to check sluice gates in Nakhon Sawan, Ang Thong and Sing Buri to ensure they are in good condition to deal with floods.
The authorities must report the results of the checks to him in 48 hours.
In Nakhon Sawan, officials are stepping up construction of nine-metre-high flood walls along the Chao Phraya River.
Workers in Muang municipality are working frantically to avoid a repeat of the flooding in neighbouring Sukhothai.
Although the construction of some sections of the concrete barrier would not be completed in time, Jiraphat Into, head of the municipality's engineering section, said he was confident the structure as it stands would be enough to prevent floodwater entering the city area.
In Phitsanulok's Bang Rakam district, the Yom River began to burst its banks and inundated riverside communities, forcing villagers to move to high ground. Water from the Yom River also swamped thousands of rai of farmland.
In Pathum Thani's Sam Khok district, 194 households in Chedi Thong community along the banks of the Chao Phraya River were flooded in 50-cm deep water.
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Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook, Patsara Jikkham & Manop Thip-Osod