Riverside communities told to brace for floods

Riverside communities told to brace for floods

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has warned people living along the Chao Phraya River to brace for possible floods, while more than 500,000 rai of rice fields in the Northeast have been inundated by Tropical Storm Noru, formerly a super typhoon.

BMA spokesman Ekwaran- yu Amrapan said yesterday that City Hall was concerned about people living along the river, particularly communities that lie outside defence lines, as these areas are at risk of being submerged.

Authorities closely monitoring the situation believe sea levels will peak around 9.30am today, causing a significant increase in the river's volume.

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt has instructed all 17 district offices along the river to be prepared and to set up defence lines, he said.

According to the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD), the intensity of Noru's centre, in Muang district of Chaiyaphum province, has decreased to low-pressure cells.

The southwest monsoon blanketed the Andaman Sea, Thailand's southern region and the Gulf of Thailand, resulting in heavy downpours in parts of the North, Northeast, East, South and Central Plains, including Bangkok and the provinces that surround it.

The TMD also warned locals to brace for flash floods and runoff until Monday and said that fishermen trawling in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand should postpone leaving port until at least Tuesday in order to stay safe.

Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) issued a summary of updates about the inundation situation in the following provinces: Phetchabun, Amnat Charoen, Sri Sa Ket, Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Mukdahan, Saraburi, Chai Nat and Sa Kaeo.

As of yesterday evening, the storm had affected 3,121 households, while 17 districts in eight provinces still remained submerged by flood water.

As the monsoon's trough swept across the lower North, Central Plains and East, high levels of rainfall were still being reported in a number of areas including Phetchabun, Phitsanulok and Prachin Buri.

Excess water meanwhile, was still overflowing in Tak, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Pathum Thani and Sing Buri.

Yesterday, data released by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda) revealed that a total of 762,394 rai had been submerged by flooding brought on by the storm.

The worst-hit province was Sri Sa Ket, which had the largest area affected at 150,227 rai of land.

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