Thailand’s heavy rain forecast puts regions on alert for more flooding ahead

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Several regions across Thailand are bracing for more flooding following warnings of heavy rain from tomorrow until next Wednesday.

The Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) delivered this warning yesterday after much of the north and northeast regions of the country already experienced floods due to days of incessant rain. The impending heavy rain, which is set to last until Saturday, is predicted to bring additional run-off, likely worsening the current situation.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has also issued a caution for ten more provinces, including the capital, Bangkok. These provinces are expected to experience floods as an overflow from the Chao Phraya River. Provinces on this list include Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan.

Communities located in low-lying areas near the river are at a higher risk of flooding due to heavy rain. The Chao Phraya Dam in Chai Nat is anticipated to release more water to prevent overflow, as stated by the department. Already, the dam’s discharge rate has been increased from 1,000 cubic metres per second to 1,400 cubic metres per second. The situation is predicted to deteriorate further with the arrival of Tropical Storm Koinu in Vietnam next Monday, as per the ONWR.

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Koinu, the fourteenth storm of the Pacific season, formed early Saturday morning and is currently heading towards Taiwan and Hong Kong, according to yesterday’s weather update by the Thai Meteorological Department.

Flood Impact Across 28 Provinces

As of yesterday, nearly 18,800 households across 28 provinces have been affected by the floods, said Suttipong Juljarern, the permanent secretary for the interior.

In Sukhothai, a floodwall in Moo 1 village, tambon Pak Khwae of Muang district, broke, leading to severe flooding in nearby communities. The affected individuals and livestock have been evacuated, reported Bangkok Post.

Water levels in the Yom River, as measured in front of the province’s city hall, rose by 37 centimetres yesterday morning due to excess water from the Mae Mok reservoir.

Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin visited Sukhothai to inspect the flood situation and expressed concern over the increasing volume of run-off entering the Yom River.

The minister also visited Phrae to assess the salvage efforts following the derailment of an express train in a flooded area on Saturday morning. The incident led to minor injuries for some passengers. Somsak Thepsutin additionally discussed long-term measures with local authorities to improve the safety systems of the country’s major dams, in an effort to better manage flooding in the future.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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