Flooding persists in 18 provinces; more rain expected

People ride a boat through a flooded street in Ban Sai village, Ban Mi district in Lopburi province, Thailand, September 30, 2021. REUTERS

BANGKOK (NNT) – 18 provinces in Thailand are still affected by floods caused by storm Dianmu. Heavy rain is forecast to start tomorrow; the capital Bangkok however, is not expecting to see major floods like those in 2011.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has announced 18 provinces are currently affected by the floods caused by storm Dianmu, out of the total of 31 provinces affected by the storms during 23-30 September. The situation has already recovered in 13 provinces so far.

However, flooding persists in Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phichit, Kamphaeng Phet, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Lopburi, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.

Meanwhile, the seasonal monsoon prevailing over the Andaman Sea, Thailand, and the Gulf of Thailand is forecast to strengthen, accompanying a monsoon trough across the northern, central, eastern, and lower northeastern regions. These conditions are expected to cause more rains, with isolated heavy rain in areas of the central, eastern, and southern regions.

A mother and daughter are seen on the second floor of their house in a flooded area in Ban Sai village, Ban Mi district in Lopburi province, Thailand, September 30, 2021. REUTERS

In Bangkok, the Governor of Bangkok Aswin Kwanmuang has posted on his official Facebook page, a response to public concerns over the possibility of major flooding, similar to the year 2011.

The governor said the amount of water flowing into Bangkok in 2011 was much higher than at the present time.

He said the water flowing through Chao Phraya Dam in Chainat upstream in 2011 was 4,000 cubic meters per second, much higher than the current rate of less than 3,000 cubic meters per second.

The Bangkok governor said the amount of water this year is similar to last year, when no flooding was reported in areas along the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

After the big flood in 2011, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration increased the height of levees along the Chao Phraya River, allowing the city to handle higher levels.

The city is now closely monitoring the situation as dams upstream have increased their drainage output, and inspecting the structural strength of flood walls along the Chao Phraya River for preparedness, with rapid response plans in place to assist affected residents.

Sandbags and water pumps are ready to mitigate the situation at communities located outside the levees, which could be affected by any overflow of the river.

According to City Hall, 239 households in 11 communities are now at risk of flooding from river overflow. The affected areas are located in Dusit, Phra Nakhon, Samphanthawong, Bang Kho Laem, Yan Nawa, Bangkok Noi, and Khlong San. Residents in these areas are now advised to move their belongings to upper floors in order to prevent damage.