Dams begin releasing more water ahead of big storm
Authorities have begun increasing the water discharge rate from major dams ahead of Tropical Storm Mulan, which will bring heavy rain to most parts of upper Thailand from today until the weekend.
The move was taken to minimise the risk of flooding as a result of increased precipitation.
The storm, which is expected to make landfall in upper Vietnam today, will bring heavy showers across 25 provinces in the North, Northeast and East of Thailand until Saturday, according to the Meteorological Department.
Residents living downstream of Pasak Jolasid Dam in Lop Buri were told to be on the lookout for sudden increases in water along the Pasak River, as authorities will increase the dam's discharge rate from 80 cubic metres per second m³ per second to 120m³ per second today.
Several riverside communities in Saraburi and Ayutthaya have also been told to brace for possible floods.
As of yesterday, the dam, the biggest reservoir in central Thailand, was about 42.5% full, said Apirak Sikunlawong, who heads the office overseeing the dam.
Meanwhile, the Chao Phraya Dam in Chai Nat is releasing between 700-1,000 m³ of water per second, said the Royal Irrigation Department.
The increased discharge rate may cause floods around Chulachomklao Fort in Samut Prakan between 6-9pm every day until Tuesday next week.
Responding to the discharge plan, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said authorities must do what they can to minimise the impacts on downstream communities.
He also called on communities nationwide to prepare for possible floods, as the storm will bring heavy rain to most parts of the country.