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Pramote: Inner city not in danger

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Pramote Maiklad, former irrigation chief who worked closely with HM the King, says Bangkok's inner city should suffer at most from minor flooding.

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Bangkok safe, expert assures

Anxious residents of Bangkok’s inner city heard some comforting words from a man worth listening to. He is Pramote Maiklad, a former irrigation chief, who worked closely with His Majesty the King during his long government career.

Yesterday, he talked to the Bangkok Post’s King-oua Laohong about the current flood situation. Here are parts of their conversation:

Will (the inner city of) Bangkok face severe flooding as many people fear?

Given the water levels measured at Memorial Bridge at the moment, nothing unusual has been detected.

Even the measurement of water inflow in the Chao Phraya River at Bang Sai Dam, the gateway to Pathum Thani, shows no signs of an abrupt change in water levels. Unlike in Ayutthaya and Nakhon Sawan, water levels here tend to change gradually.

The high tides are expected on Friday and Saturday when water levels in the [Chao Phraya] river should rise by only about 20 centimetres higher than the usual level.

Does that mean there is no need to announce an emergency plan?

From the analyses of these statistics, there is nothing to worry about. Nor is it necessary to announce a state of emergency. Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra and the director of City Hall's Department of Drainage and Sewerage have reiterated that the embankment built to prevent the overflow from the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani is 2.5 metres above mean sea level.

Mr Pramote, left, spent many years working with His Majesty the King, who is himself a water-management expert. Photo: Kasetsart University archives

A new storm is coming. Will it mean a surge in the volume of rainfall?

It remains uncertain if the storm will make it to Thailand. It is somewhere south of Mindanao island in the Philippines and it is more likely to move past Thailand via either the Central region or Bangkok if it eventually arrives.

Heavy rain may cause minor flooding in Bangkok but floodwater will not flow into the river but be pumped out to a different route. This means the run-off from the North coming in the river will never meet the floodwater caused by rain in Bangkok as feared.

The full interview is well worth reading. You can find it here: . For a very detailed story on Bangkok's flood prevention system, click here:

expert – someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
assure – to tell something that something is true or will definitely happen ให้ความมั่นใจ, ยืนยัน
anxious – worried because you think something bad might happen ที่วิตกกังวล, ที่ร้อนใจ
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
comforting – making you feel calmer and less worried or unhappy ใซึ่งปลอบโยน,ซึ่งปลอบใจ
worth (the effort) – useful, important or good enough to be a suitable reward for the time spent or the effort made คุ้มค่ากับความพยายาม
irrigation – the process of bringing water to land through a system of pipes, ditches, etc. in order to make crops grow ระบบชลประทาน
chief – a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation  หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ
career – a job or series of related jobs that you do, especially a profession that you spend a lot of your working life in  อาชีพ
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์
severe – very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
level – the amount of liquid that there is in a container, river, dam, etc., which can be seen by how high the liquid is ระดับ
unusual – different from what is usual or normal ผิดปกติ
detect – to notice, to discover or find out พบได้, สังเกต
sign – an event, an action, a fact, etc. that shows that something exists, is happening or may happen in the future  สัญญาณ
abrupt – sudden and unexpected, and often unpleasant อย่างกะทันหัน
gradually – slowly and in small stages or amounts อย่างทีละน้อย
tide – the regular rise and fall of the level of the sea (the tides) ปรากฏการณ์น้ำขึ้นน้ำลง, กระแสน้ำขึ้นน้ำลง
analysis – the detailed study or examination of something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study  การวิเคราะห์
statistics – a collection of information shown in numbers สถิติ
state of emergency – a dangerous situation in which the government takes on special powers and the rights of the people are often limited in some way ภาวะฉุกเฉิน  (declare a state of emergency ประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน)
drainage – the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes การระบายน้ำ
sewer – an underground pipe or passage that carries sewage (liquid waste) ท่อน้ำเสีย, ท่อระบายน้ำ
reiterate – to repeat something in order to emphasise it พูดซ้ำ ย้ำ
embankment – a slope made of earth or stone that rises up from either side of a road, railway/railroad, river, etc. มูลดิน,ตลิ่งทาง
overflow – (of a river or body of water)  water flooding the land next to it การไหลล้น
mean – an amount that is calculated by adding several numbers together and dividing the total by the original number of things that you added together ค่าเฉลี่ย, ตัวกลาง, มัชฌิม
surge – a sudden increase in something การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
volume – an amount of something ปริมาณ
uncertain – not sure about whether something is true etc ไม่แน่ใจ
via – through  ผ่าน (ช่องทาง)
eventually – at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
minor – not important; small; having little influence or effect เล็กน้อย
route – the path used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง


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