Laos discharges 'may be issue'

Laos discharges 'may be issue'

No letting up: Water rushes from Vajiralongkorn dam in Kanchanaburi which continues to discharge excess water to keep up with the large amount of inflow measured at more than 100 million cubic metres of water per day.
No letting up: Water rushes from Vajiralongkorn dam in Kanchanaburi which continues to discharge excess water to keep up with the large amount of inflow measured at more than 100 million cubic metres of water per day.

Thailand is being advised to closely monitor the water discharge rate at two dams in neighbouring Laos to obtain information important for Thailand's handling of the flood situation, particularly in the Northeast.

Citing communications received from Mekong River Commission (MRC), a source said the rising water in the Mekong River has been caused by the increase in water released from the Nam Ngum and Nam Theun dams in Laos.

Thailand must closely monitor the discharge rate at these two dams as it braces for more floods in Nakhon Phanom and nearby Mukdahan, said the source.

The level in the Mekong River is expected to peak at 12.54m today when the water from the dams flows into it.

Nakhon Phanom provincial governor Somchai Witdamrong, meanwhile, convened a meeting yesterday attended by 30 private and public organisations to discuss the province's disaster prevention and mitigation plan, according to the source.

The governor said the organisations and the provincial office will meet daily until the flood, which has submerged wide areas of farmland and many homes, eases.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said His Majesty the King has expressed concern over the flood problem and wants all parties connected to the relief efforts to speed up their work.

The premier said three provinces are being severely battered by floods; Bung Kan, Nakhon Phanom and Phetchaburi.

Five districts of Nakhon Phanom, eight districts of Bung Kan and four districts of Phetchaburi faced serious inundations. In total, 38,875 people in 13,227 households have been affected, he said.

Many provinces are battling the floods triggered by tropical storm Bebinca, he said.

In Phetchaburi, less water was being discharged from Phet Dam contributing to a drop in water level in the downstream Phetchaburi River by 20cm yesterday.

The situation in Phetchaburi has improved and many flooded main roads were expected to be dry soon, said the provincial authorities.

Also yesterday, the Office of the National Water Resources warned that 19 provinces in the North, Northeast, East and South are now at risk of renewed floods as several key water sources and reservoirs were reported to be close to capacity.

Two large dams, Kaeng Krachan dam in Phetchaburi and Nam Un dam in Sakhon Nakhon are overflowing, while 32 dams are now between 80% and 100% full, said Samroeng Saengphuwong, deputy secretary-general of the office.


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