A night flood watch is under way in Ubon Ratchathani amid worries that more water will overflow the banks of the Moon River to exacerbate the situation in two districts already hard hit by floods.
Royal Irrigation Department director-general Thongplew Kongchan said on Friday that officials were still keeping a wary eye on the river although the agency believed the peak water volume had passed Muang and Warin Chamrap districts in the afternoon.
Deputy department chief Taweesak Thanathechophol, who was in the northeastern province, said the water level was stable and he expected flooding to ease off if there is no rainfall to worsen the situation.
The department forecast the water level would be four metres higher from the river banks but its highest level was 3.97 metres in the afternoon.
The two districts are bracing for the worst flooding in 16 years from the approaching water from the swollen Moon River that flows past them to the Mekong River. The Royal Irrigation Department has deployed 60 water-pushing machines along the Moon River in Phibun Mangsahan district and another 60 in Khong Chiam district to speed up the flow into the Mekong. The Moon flows into the Mekong in Khong Chiam.
Twenty-three of the 25 districts in Ubon Ratchathani are still under water, according to a Royal Irrigation Department update. The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said the province so far has been hit hardest by flooding from recent downpours.
Many citizens and businesses have been busy preparing to defend properties in Muang district from inundation, with Sunpasithiprasong Hospital receiving extra attention.
Flooding has resulted in 32 deaths, three of them in Ubon Ratchathani, since Aug 29 when Storm Podul entered Thailand, followed by Storm Kajiki.
The Meteorological Department’s latest weather forecast says there is a 60% chance of rain in eight northeastern provinces, including Ubon Ratchathani, until Saturday.