The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has issued a warning to over 20 communities in the capital located along those sections of the Chao Phraya River without floodwalls to be prepared for possible overflow, according to Thai media reports.
Flooding caused by heavy rains in the Northeast has already claimed at least nine lives over the past week – six in Surin and three in Si Sa Ket, says the Disaster Prevention and Relief Department.
In addition, a 10-year-old girl was feared dead in the eastern province of Prachin Buri when she was swept away by flood waters while playing outside.
In Bangkok the river has risen quickly in recent days, and deputy city clerk Sanya Chenimit told reporters, “We have advised residents of these communities to move their belongings to higher ground”.
Some sections of the flood barriers are starting to leak, and authorities are using sandbags to build temporary floodwalls where necessary.
The forecast calls for heavy rain in the Central Plains and Bangkok this weekend, which will likely put dams along the Chao Phraya under more pressure, where rising water levels are already causing concern.
Though authorities are downplaying the likelihood of further flooding, they admit that as water is discharged from the dams, the river could overflow its banks in some areas.
Deputy PM Plodprasop Suraswadi said the water mass now is much less than it was during the great flood of 2011. “Two years ago, we had to handle 25-30 billion cubic metres of water. This year, it’s less than 15,” he said.
The 2011 floods cost hundreds of lives and massive economic damage. At that time, seven industrial estates were submerged.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra admits she is worried about the flood threat to Saha Rattana Nakorn Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya, which was one of those badly flooded two years ago. Image/nationmultimedia.com