Phetchaburi town residents have their mops, buckets and sandbags ready for a wet weekend as they fend off the run-off from upstream dams. The Royal Irrigation Department say they’ve done their best to stem the flow from the overflowing dams but expect the remaining floodwaters to hit the Muang district over the coming weekend.
The department expects the volume of water in Phetchaburi River to peak on Saturday, with 230 to 250 cubic metres of water flowing into the Phetch Dam per second. Phetch Dam sits in Phetchaburi’s Tha Yang district, between the now-overwhelmed Kaeng Krachan Dam and Phetchaburi’s Muang district.
Though this volume of water is not expected to flood the Tha Yang district, Muang district could suffer from the overflowing Phetchaburi River on Sunday. In fact, some communities in the district will find themselves under 30 to 50 centimetres of water for seven to 10 days.
The department’s director-general, Thongplew Kongchan, confirmed yesterday that Kaeng Krachan Dam had exceeded its capacity.
“The dam is now 103 per cent full,” he said, explaining why large volumes of water had to be discharged from the dam.
He added that water up to 46 centimetres deep was being released down the spillway constantly. However, downstream communities should not be too badly affected by this rapid release, apart from some low-lying riverside resorts, he said.
Also, some 40 pumps have been installed along the Phetchaburi River to speed the run-off to sea. These boats and officials are in charge of speeding up the water flow in the Phetchaburi River in Phetchaburi province yesterday, as Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha turns up to inspect water management.
While Muang district should be inundated for a week to 10 days, Ban Laem – located at the point where Phetchaburi River meets the sea – could be submerged for about a month, he said.
High tides could slow the run-off to sea in Ban Laem, but action is being taken to minimise the effect, he added.
So far, 40 boats and pumps have been put in place in the area to ease the impact, though the boats may not be that effective when high |tides hit the area during the weekend. Thongplew was at hand to brief PM Prayut Chan-o-cha during his visit to Phetchaburi yesterday.
The weather bureau, meanwhile, has predicted heavy downpours and warned of landslides in 31 provinces. Among them is Ranong province, north of Phuket, where some 3,000 residents in Kapur district are suffering from the impact of flash floods. Though flooding has subsided in some areas, many low-lying parts were reported to still be submerged as of press time.
SOURCE: The Nation
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