Agencies told to boost preparedness for floods
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Agencies told to boost preparedness for floods

Water management agencies have been told to regularly report their progress in implementing 10 key measures to cope with this year's rainy season, which forecasters have said would be an unusually wet one.

The measures, which have been approved by the National Water Resource Committee (NWRC) chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin, are on the way to the cabinet for endorsement.

Surasee Kittimonthon, secretary-general of the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), said for the measures to succeed, all agencies concerned will have to come up with an executable plan.

The agencies are required to file a report, starting on May 5, on the progress of implementation on the fifth of every month until the rainy season ends.

Mr Surasee said the reporting requirement is meant to spur the agencies into action, as this year's rainy season is expected to be much wetter than usual.

Mr Surasee said the 10 measures are based on lessons learned from last year's work to prevent and tackle floods, which was the result of cooperation between relevant sectors.

The measures include improving early warnings in flood-prone areas; reviewing and improving water management methods; distributing enough resources and personnel in flood-prone areas; regular maintenance of dykes, dams and retention ponds; systemic improvements to drainage systems; regular flood drills to improve disaster preparedness; saving water for the next dry season; raise people's awareness about the need to prepare for a disaster; open information centres to provide updates on the water situation, and to evaluate the results and modify the measures according to changing situations.

According to Mr Surasee, the rainy season will start in May, and higher-than-average rainfall is expected due to the transition from El Niño to La Niña between June and August.

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