Flood alert as Mekong water rises

Flood alert as Mekong water rises

The Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom Thursday (photo by Pattanapong Seepiachai)
The Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom Thursday (photo by Pattanapong Seepiachai)

Residents in Nakhon Phanom were on Thursday warned to brace for possible flooding after the water level in the Mekong River rose to 11 metres, two metres away from overflow, due to downpours caused by tropical storm Son-Tinh.

The situation in the northeastern province was also exacerbated by the collapse of a Xe Pian Xe Namnoy project dam in Attapeu province, in neighbouring Laos, which shares a river border with Thailand.

Aside from Nakhon Phanom, surging water has also resulted in an increase in water levels along the Songkhram and Nam Kam rivers which receive water from Nong Han Lake in the nearby province of Sakon Nakhon and discharge into the Mekong River.

Nong Han Lake releases around 15 million cubic metres (cu/m) of water per day while the Nam Kam River currently is at around 70%-80% of its total capacity.

Paddy fields along the watercourse covering around 120 kilometres in Nakhon Phanom could be affected by possible inundation.

To prevent flooding, the royally-initiated Nam Kam Basin Development Project in Nakhon Phanom's That Phanom district has expedited the release of 10 million cu/m of water per day to the Mekong River via a weir in the lower part of the basin.

In the northern province of Nan, more than 200 villagers in Ban Ta Noi were cut off from the outside world Thursday after a main road connecting them with other communities was inundated by flash flooding due to heavy downpours over the last few days in Pua district.

Soldiers were deployed to clear the road.

According to the Meteorological Department, heavy rain is forecast across the upper part of the North from today until next Tuesday which could result in more flash floods.

In Kanchanaburi, Sangkhla Buri district chief Pakorn Kanwalee Thursday instructed that basic necessities be sent to Ban Koh Saderng, one of two villages hardest-hit by recent flash floods.

The supplies were loaded onto 40 off-road motorcycles to Ban Kong Mong Tha. From there it took four to five hours on foot to get to the flood-ravaged village, home to about 330 people.

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