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Update: Phetchaburi dam overflows reach town

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Update: Phetchaburi dam overflows reach town | The Thaiger
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Downstream communities in Phetchaburi’s main business and residential districts are expected to be flooded for about two weeks after run-off from the overflowing Kaeng Krachan Dam hit the area last night

“Although we must discharge water from the dam, we are trying to reduce the volume that will go into the river by diverting some 55 cubic metres of runoff to a canal and irrigation systems,” Royal Irrigation Department’s director-general Thongplew Kongjun said.

Regardless of their efforts, it is inevitable that thousands of people in communities in low-lying zones along the Phetchaburi River will face flooding, he said. He estimated the floodwater level would be about 50 centimetres.

Water volume in the Kaeng Krachan National Park, in the upper part of Phetchaburi province, has already exceeded its holding capacity. Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to inspect water discharge at the dam today.

“Natural disasters are unavoidable but the government will try to minimise adverse impacts,” he said.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach yesterday said that good preparations had been made to minimise the impact on people living in Phetchaburi’s town.

“We have even diverted some water into empty farmland along the way. By doing this, the runoff will be reduced. It will also be slower for the runoff to reach the town, giving residents there enough time to move their belongings,” he said.

Prayut emphasised that people living downstream must move their belongings to higher ground and evacuate if floodwaters continued to rise. The weather bureau has forecast increased rainfall and heavier downpours in various parts of Thailand until tomorrow. Landslides and flood warnings were issued for 35 provinces.

Apart from Phetchaburi, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Phetchabun, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaew, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Ranong, Phang Nga and Phuket are also at risk.

Grisada says if it continued to rain, the water volume flowing into the Phetchaburi River might be up to 300 cubic metres per second.

“That means Phetchaburi town may succumb to floods. However with current preparations, flooding should not be as widespread as last year,” he said.

Update: Phetchaburi dam overflows reach town | News by The ThaigerUpdate: Phetchaburi dam overflows reach town | News by The Thaiger

Around the country

The Royal Irrigation Department has been closely monitoring water levels at large and medium-size reservoirs across the country. As of yesterday, water volume at two large dams – Nam Oun in Sakhon Nakhon province and Kaeng Krachan in Phetchaburi – exceeded their capacity.

About 21 medium-size dams were also overwhelmed, most of them in the Northeast. Kanchanaburi Governor Jirakiat Bhumisawasdi yesterday warned people downstream of three local dams – the Srinakharin, Vajiralongkorn and Mae Klong – to be aware of the overflowing river.

The Srinakharin Dam has now discharged 20 million cubic metres of water, the Vajiralongkorn Dam 43 million cubic metres of water, and the Mae Klong Dam 60 million cubic metres of water.

“We have noticed that water levels in downstream zones has risen by between 30 and 40 centimetres,” Jirakiat said.

He said local authorities are preparing flood relief and rescue operations. A landslide already hit Mae Hong Son province yesterday morning, with a local road blocked by large rocks. Sop Moei district chief Pha-ob Binsa-ard said local officials were trying to clear the blockage with heavy machinery.

Update: Phetchaburi dam overflows reach town | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Thailand

The Pattaya to Hua Hin bridge. Government discusses 900 billion baht investment.

Caitlin Ashworth

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The Pattaya to Hua Hin bridge. Government discusses 900 billion baht investment. | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Post

The government is looking into a so-called “Thai Bridge” that would connect Pattaya to Hua Hin, an estimated 900 billion baht investment. The project would be part of the Eastern Economic Corridor development plan aimed at improving the transportation and infrastructure in Thailand.

The 900 billion baht investment is expected to take 10 years to financially implement, according to chairperson of the government’s committee for the Mobilisation of Economic Management Measures, Pailin Chuchottaworn. The Centre for Economic Situation Administration has approved the investment project to move forward with a pre-feasibility study by the EEC’s policy committee.

“We have to admit that 900 billion baht is a huge amount of money, but it is reasonable when considering its final results. It is also cheaper than some other mega projects that are currently being accelerated. We also planned to hire local Thai people and buy local materials for the construction to reduce the cost as well.”

The bridge would join other mega-projects by the EEC like a high speed rail that will link the major airports in Bangkok… Don Mueang Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao Airport (south of Pattaya). The train is expected to travel at 250 kilometres per hour. Another project is the renovation and extension of the U-Tapao International Airport. The EEC says the project will bring in 60 million passengers a year and is expected to be in operation by 2024.

The Pattaya to Hua Hin bridge. Government discusses 900 billion baht investment. | News by The Thaiger

The 80 to 100 kilometre bridge will most likely connect Pattaya to Hua Hin (likely to be just south of Pattaya in Sattahip), but also connect many provinces in the South. The bridge would likely increase tourism in Hua Hin. Pattaya draws in a larger crowd than Hua Hin with 10 times more tourists than the southern district, Pailin says.

The bridge will also need to allow shipping to traverse the Gulf of Thailand to Laem Chabang in Chon Buri.

“In truth, the tourists want to travel to both cities but they choose Pattaya first partly because Chon Buri has more attractions and more convenient transportation options. Many projects are also being built in Chonburi and the EEC in the coming future, such as a three-airport monorail and a city monorail which will potentially attract more travelers to the area, while none of the projects in the other tourist cities in the Gulf of Thailand were discussed.”

SOURCES: Pattaya News | EEC

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Weather

8,000 homes inundated in Nakhon Ratchasima after 2 days of torrential rain

The Thaiger

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8,000 homes inundated in Nakhon Ratchasima after 2 days of torrential rain | The Thaiger

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging emergency services and the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in the Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima, in Thailand’s north east, to urgently attend to the suffering of the region’s flood victims. Flooding has cut electricity and water supplies to several areas around the district.

8,000+ houses have been flooded after the overflowing Lam Takong River inundated nearby farming and residential communities. The flooding follows days of heavy rain, especially in the Khao Yai mountainous area, in the province’s south west.

Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Vichien Chanthanothai has attended the region’s worst hit areas today to distribute relief supplies, lunch boxes and survival kits to flood victims. Most have stayed in their flooded homes with family and to protect their property.

“It will take another day for flood waters to recede and the situation will gradually return to normal.”

But Thailand’s Royal Irrigation Department reports that the recent rains in Pak Chong have been an enormous help to the Lam Phra Ploeng and Khun Dan Prakanchon dams, which were almost empty earlier this year.

• Lam Phra Ploeng reservoir is now 93% full, with 145 million cubic metres of water

• Khun Dan Prakanchon reservoir is 96% full, with 216 million cubic metres of water

In Phetchaburi, south of Bangkok, more than 400 homes in the Nong Ya Plong district, north of the province, along with the Petkasem highway near the main Cha-am intersection, were flooded earlier today after 2 days of heavy rain in the province. Flood waters, in areas north west of Hua Hin, have now receded after train tracks through parts of Phetchaburi were inundated under 10 cm of floodwater earlier today.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Crime

Man wanted on murder charge killed in police shootout

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man wanted on murder charge killed in police shootout | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

A man wanted on a murder charge was killed in a police shootout yesterday in Prachuap Kiri Khan. The 36 year old man was wanted for allegedly shooting and killing his aunt with a .38 gun back in August. He allegedly shot her because she refused to testify in his favour for a court case against him for allegedly attacking her husband.

The man fled from Phetchaburi to Prachuap Kiri Khan and found a house to rent near a forest. Police were able to track him down and say they came to the man’s house, asking him to surrender. They say the man refused and fired at least 2 shots at police. Police fired back, killing him.

The man’s body was found in the forest by the house with 9 bullet wounds and a .38 gun nearby.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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