Aswin inspects flood mitigation systems

Aswin inspects flood mitigation systems

A worker removes an abandoned toy tricycle and other items that jammed the Rama IX water intake station in Bangkok. Every day, staff have to remove large quantities of household rubbish, which block the drains and contribute to widespread flooding in the capital. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A worker removes an abandoned toy tricycle and other items that jammed the Rama IX water intake station in Bangkok. Every day, staff have to remove large quantities of household rubbish, which block the drains and contribute to widespread flooding in the capital. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang on Thursday inspected a huge drainage tunnel and a newly built floodwater retention basin to relieve flood-prone streets as the Meteorological Department warned about heavy rain in more than 40 provinces including Bangkok and its vicinity.

Pol Gen Aswin said City Hall workers were put on high alert following the storm warning which said an active low pressure cell from Cambodia was moving to the eastern part of Thailand and would bring heavy rain.

The governor on Thursday visited the drainage tunnel in Huai Khwang district and the floodwater-retention basin, also known as a "monkey cheek", in Soi Sukhonthasawat 25.

The tunnel, built to divert water from Saen Saeb Canal and Lat Phrao Canal to Chao Phraya River, will boost drainage capacity in Huai Khwang, Bang Kapi, Bung Kum, Watthana, Wang Thong Lang and Lat Phrao districts.

The new floodwater-retention basin, which can store 120,000 cubic metres of water, would alleviate flooding on Sukhonthasawat Road and adjacent areas.

The water will be released into the Or Lao waterway and Sua Yai Canal when their water levels have decreased.

Pol Gen Aswin said flood prevention and relief measures in Bangkok differ from area to area due to several factors. While floodwater retention basins or large drainage tunnels can be built to help tackle flooding, installation of water pumps might be the only option in some areas.

According to the governor, four drainage tunnels are now in operation and they are expected to handle the monsoon rains and alleviate flooding in 14 of Bangkok's 50 districts. Another is under construction and three more are in the pipeline.

He said the drainage tunnels are part of Bangkok's drainage system and they serve as shortcuts to allow water to flow faster to the Chao Phraya River.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda on Thursday instructed City Hall to work closely with the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and prepare a contingency plan to make sure flood drainage operations are least affected in case of power outages.

He said rapid response teams should be put on stand-by to fix problems at pumping stations and water in the canals should be managed to receive rainwater.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department on Thursday warned residents in the Northeast, the East, the Central Plains, and the South to brace for heavy rains that might cause flash floods and runoff today.

The weather bureau also said rain was forecast for most parts of Bangkok and neighbouring provinces and advised all shipping in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf to proceed with caution due to stormy weather.



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