Unexpected rains give BMA headache

Unexpected rains give BMA headache

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra is determined that he and his officials won't be caught off-guard by heavy rain, in light of recent storms that forecasters had failed to predict.

The embattled governor on Saturday ordered officials in all 50 districts of the capital to be prepared for anything.

"It is worrying given the rain situation recently as it ran counter to the weather forecast," he told a meeting of district chiefs.

He was referring to the heavy downpour that hit parts of Bangkok in the early hours of Saturday despite expectations that they would not arrive until Sunday and Monday.

The meeting was arranged after floods in several areas in the capital last Monday brought traffic on a standstill and forced some schools to cancel classes.

Local residents vented their anger at the governor and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration officials for a lack of preparedness for the storms. MR Sukhumbhand was at a meeting in the Netherlands at the time but rushed home on Wednesday.

Bangkok has had rainfall totalling 591 millimetres from Jan 1 to this week, well above the average for the period of 504.4mm, according to city clerk Sanya Chenimit.

The Meteorological Department said in its latest forecast that up to 60% of the capital would see rain over the next seven days.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has directed the Interior Ministry to help the BMA and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has ordered soldiers to pitch in to help prevent future floods after the miserable deluge last Monday.

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