Ayutthaya industrial parks, Bangkok prepare for floods

Ayutthaya industrial parks, Bangkok prepare for floods

A water barrier to industrial parks in Ayutthaya is under repair to cope with rising water from the Chao Phraya River. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)
A water barrier to industrial parks in Ayutthaya is under repair to cope with rising water from the Chao Phraya River. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)

Riverside provinces south of the Chao Phraya Dam are stepping up efforts against possible flooding after more water was discharged from its reservoir.

The dam in Chai Nat increased water discharge by 100 cubic metres to 1,998 cubic metres per second (corrected) on Thursday after the water level at the dam continued to rise, with more rains from northern provinces very likely next week.

The Royal Irrigation Department on Thursday warned Chai Nat, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Suphanburi and Lop Buri provinces about rising water north and south of the dam location.

Several areas in those provinces have been flooded and the discharge will exacerbate the situation. One of the hardest hit provinces is Ayutthaya, where six districts are under water, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. Ang Thong does not fare much better, with five flooded districts, it added.

When the Great Flood ravaged the country in 2011, industrial zones in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani were severely damaged.

But Chulaporn Panichwattannond, director of the Saha Rattana Nakorn Industrial Estate in Nakhon Luang district in Ayutthaya, said two barriers stood ready to prevent water from seeping into the compound.

Rojana, Hitech and Bang Pa-in industrial estates are also surrounded by two flood barriers. The outer one at Ban Krod in Nakhon Luang has been built as the frontline and is under repair.

Officials of the three parks said each park already had another barrier closer to the factories in place to handle coming water up to four metres high.

Maitree Pitinanon, the director of the irrigation and maintenance office in Nakhon Luang, said the outter barrier at Ban Krod is being urgently repaired.

Bowdaeng Takaew, chief of the irrigation office in Ayutthaya, said the discharged water from the dam will go downstream as there is no plan to divert it to four "monkey cheeks", which can absorb more than 1 million cubic metres, because it would damage rice farms.

The water retention areas will also be reserved for future rainfalls expected next month, the official added.

In Pathum Thani, soldiers have joined workers to reinforce sandbags to prevent houses and roads along Khlong 13 from flooding.

Deputy Bangkok governor Pussadee Tamthai ordered all districts to stand alert and prepare additional water pumps and sandbags for the coming water. Risk areas included Lak Si, Don Muang, Nong Chok, Min Buri and Lat Prabang, she added.

Amorn Kitchawengkul, another deputy governor, expected water from the dam in Chai Nat going along the Chao Phraya to reach the capital tomorrow. More rain in central provinces could drive the water to flow faster downstream, he said.

Forecast of the Meteorological Department over the next 24 hours showed rain would cover most parts of the country, including Bangkok.

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