AYUTTHAYA: Provinces in the Chao Phraya river basin have been warned of possible flooding as the Chao Phraya Dam begins discharging excess water downstream.
The warning was issued in an urgent lettter sent on Monday night by Irrigation Department deputy director-general Taweesak Thanadechopol to governors of provinces downstream from the dam.
The letter said a large volume of water was moving down through Nakhon Sawan to Chao Phraya Dam in Chai Nat, at 1,800-1,900 cubic metres per second. Water from the rain swollen Sakae Krang river in Uthai Thani was also flowing into the dam's reservoir.
Although about 400 cubic metres per second of water was already being diverted into retention areas on both sides of the river, the volume of water on the northern side of the dam was increasing rapidly.
It was necessary for the dam to increase the discharge rate to between 700 and 1,500 cubic metres per second. As a result, from Sept 15-18 the water level below the dam would rise by up to 2 metres.
Low-lying areas in Ayutthaya would initially be affected, including tambon Ban Krathum and tambon Hua Wiang of Sena district, tambon Tha Din Daeng in Phak Hai district, and some tambons in Bang Ban and Bang Sai districts.
The department would try to keep the discharge rate at no more than 1,500 cubic metres per second, to minimise flooding.