Flood forces brief closure of World Heritage tunnels

Flood forces brief closure of World Heritage tunnels

Water receding on stretch of Highway 304 in Prachin Buri but officials still monitoring conditions

The tunnels on Highway 304 under the wildlife corridor in Nadi district of Prachin Buri province were closed on Thursday morning due to flooding. (Photo: Manit Sanubboon)
The tunnels on Highway 304 under the wildlife corridor in Nadi district of Prachin Buri province were closed on Thursday morning due to flooding. (Photo: Manit Sanubboon)

PRACHIN BURI: The Nadi district administration on Thursday morning closed a section of Highway 304, which links the lower Northeast and the East, along with its twin tunnels under a world heritage wildlife corridor due to flooding triggered by days of rain.

Sonthaya Fueangcharas, the assistant district chief, said floodwater was about 30-50 centimetres deep in an 80-metre-long section of the tunnels at 9.15am, while water on Highway 304 was 40-50cm deep. As a result, he ordered the closure of both the tunnels and the Nadi-Nakhon Ratchasima section of the highway.

The water level in the tunnels peaked at about 1.50 metres late Thursday morning. By 1.30pm it had dropped to 20-30cm and local officials reopened the tunnels to traffic while remaining at the site to monitor the situation.

Measures were also taken to disconnect power in the tunnels to prevent short circuits, Mr Sonthaya said.

The tunnels, which are 250 metres long in total, pass beneath a wildlife corridor that connects Khao Yai and Thap Lan national parks, both of which are natural World Heritage sites.

Prawatsart Chanthep, chief of Thap Lan National Park, said continuous heavy rainfall over several days had led to flooding in the tunnels and other areas of Nadi.

Local canals were overflowing and had flooded five villages in tambon Buphram of Nadi. Ban Thap Lan school in the district had to be closed on Thursday due to the flooding.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (1)