Don’t worry, the dam is safe (updated)

Don’t worry, the dam is safe (updated)

A 37-year-old prediction of a dam collapse by a child psychic is causing needless panic, says the Mineral Resources Department director-general.

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Designed to last more than double its current 48 years, the Bhumibol Dam in Tak's Sam Ngao district is still very strong and will not collapse anytime soon, says the Mineral Resources Department director-general.

Saturday morning update

The Bhumibol dam is releasing 45 million cubic metres of water each day, a situation they say is normal and is not related to Pla Bu’s prediction.

Villagers below the dam are reported to be uneasy, however, and some are making plans for a quick evacuation.

Meanwhile, Pla Bu’s father, interviewed on Channel 7 earlier this week, says he doesn’t know if the dam collapse will occur on “New Year Farang, Thai, Lao or Chinese”, so believers will remain anxious if the dam break doesn’t occur tonight.

release – to allow a substance to flow out from somewhere ปล่อย
cubic metre – ลูกบาศก์เมตร
normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ภาวะปกติ
prediction – a statement about what you think will happen in the future คำพยากรณ์,คำทำนาย,การพยากรณ์
uneasy – feeling slightly nervous, worried, or upset about something ซึ่งไม่สบายใจ, ซึ่งกระสับกระส่าย, ซึ่งเป็นกังวล
evacuation – moving people from a place of danger to a safer place การอพยพ
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
collapse – falling down suddenly การพังลงมา 
anxious – wanting something very much กระตือรือร้น, กระสับกระส่าย, ร้อนใจ

Click button to listen to Pla Bu and rightclick to download

Don’t worry, the dam is safe

"Pla Bu", the five-year-old psychic whose prediction 37 years ago of a dam collapse has caused some people to panic.

In normal times, a prediction made 37 years ago by a little boy in rural Thailand would not create much of a fuss

But this is the age of the internet where information can spread at lightning speed and the boy’s prediction was dire and timely enough to create a very big fuss indeed.

Pla Bu, a psychic, was nearly six years old when he made the prediction. He said that on December 31 this year – tomorrow night – at about 10pm, a major earthquake would occur and the Bhumibol Dam in Tak's Sam Ngao district would collapse.

His father wrote down the forecast and kept it at Wat Suan Sri Mahapo in Soi Dao district of Chanthaburi.

Recently it was found on the internet and it has now become the talk of the town. Videos describing the predication have attracted well over a million views on youtube and it has spread through newspaper stories and countless conversations throughout the country.

If true, Thailand would suffer another huge flood and the rush of water would likely take far more lives than the country’s worst ever floods that hit earlier this year.

But that is definitely NOT going to happen, says Mineral Resources Department director-general Nithad Phupatanakul who yesterday held a press conference where he urged Thais not to panic.

He described the prediction as “baseless”.

"The dam is not located along any fault line. So it is impossible that it will be broken by an earthquake," Mr Nithad said.

Mr Nithad said that only a heavy earthquake of about 7 on the Richter scale in a 40 km radius of the dam would be able to destroy it.

He said Thailand has never had such a strong earthquake in its history. In the past the country had experienced only a magnitude 3 earthquake.

To calm fears about the prediction, Tak governor Samart Loifa will tomorrow organise a countdown party at the dam as an assurance that it is safe. Are you going?

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Apinya Wipatayotin.

last – to continue to be used;  to continue to exist; ทนทาน, สืบต่อไป
double – twice as big, twice as much or twice as many สองเท่า
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
collapse – to fall down suddenly พังลงมา  ล้ม, พังครืน
mineral – a valuable or useful chemical substance which is formed naturally in the ground แร่
(natural) resources –  things such as coal, trees, wildlife and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากรธรรมชาติ
Mineral Resources Department – the Thai government department in charge of mapping, surveying and collecting data on Thailand's geology กรมทรัพยากรธรณี
normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ภาวะปกติ
prediction – a statement about what you think will happen in the future คำพยากรณ์,คำทำนาย,การพยากรณ์
rural – connected with the countryside outside big towns and cities  ในชนบท, บ้านนอก
fuss – unnecessary excitement, worry or activity ความอึกทึก, ความเอะอะ
spread – to gradually affect or cover a larger area แพร่กระจาย
lightning – a flash, or several flashes, of very bright light in the sky caused by electricity ฟ้าแลบ, สายฟ้า
dire – very serious or extreme เลวร้ายมาก
timely – happening at the most suitable time  ถูกกาละเทศะ
psychic – a person who claims to have strange mental powers so that they can do things that are not possible according to natural laws, such as predicting the future and speaking to dead people คนที่ไวต่อพลังจิต, สื่อวิญญาณ
earthquake – a sudden shaking movement of the ground  แผ่นดินไหว
forecast – a prediction; a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
attract – to cause someone to be interested in something ดึงดูดความสนใจ
panic – to have a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ตื่นตกใจ
countless – very many; too many to be counted มากเหลือคณานับ
suffer – to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation ประสบความลำบาก
press conference – an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it การแถลงข่าว
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
baseless – groundless; based on no good reasons or facts ไม่มีมูลความจริง
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
fault line – a fault (= break in the Earth's surface)  รอยเลื่อนของเปลือกโลก
Richter scale – a scale for measuring the magnitude (size and strength) of earthquakes หน่วยวัดความรุนแรงของแผ่นดินไหว
radius – a particular distance in all directions from a central point รัศมี
magnitude – size or strength  ขนาดหรือ ความรุนแรง
calm – to cause to be peaceful and quiet; without anxiety ทำให้ใจเย็น,ทำให้ไม่ตื่นเต้น, ทำให้สงบ
assurance – a promise; a guarantee  การรับประกัน, การรับรอง

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