Ayutthaya builds dykes to protect homes amid rising Chao Phraya River levels

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

The fast-rising waters of the Chao Phraya River have led to the construction of dykes along its banks in the province of Ayutthaya. There is a growing concern that the swelling river may overflow, potentially flooding homes and historical landmarks.

The Chao Phraya River’s rising levels are attributed to an increased water volume from upstream provinces. However, on Wednesday, it was reported that the province’s industrial estates have remained unaffected by any flooding.

Provincial governor of Ayutthaya, Niwat Rungsakorn, accompanied by his deputy Pairat Petyuan and officials from the Office for Prevention and Mitigation in Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya and the 3rd Regional Office of Fine Arts Department, visited the historical site of Wat Chaiwatthanaram. This is one of the locations most susceptible to flooding along the Chao Phraya River, as well as its surrounding areas.

To safeguard the historic Chao Phraya Riverside sanctuary, a concrete dyke standing 1.9 metres tall and stretching 165 metres long has been inspected for its durability.

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Niwat reported that the Chao Phraya Barrage situated upstream in the Chai Nat province is discharging water at a speed of 1,449 cubic metres per second (m³/s). This is a contributing factor to the floods in Ayutthaya’s districts of Phak Hai, Bang Ban, Sena and Bang Pa-In.

He added that local agencies have alerted residents to keep abreast with updates on the flood situation and be prepared to evacuate if deemed necessary.

Flood barriers

In a proactive measure against possible floods, industrial estates within Ayutthaya have augmented the flood barriers around their properties to exceed 1.8 metres.

Veeris Ammarapala, governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, assured that the flood risk in the industrial estates is minimal. He attributed this to the presence of an efficient drainage system and effective barriers in most areas.

Notably, the industrial estates have had efficient flood prevention measures in place since the devastating floods that occurred in 2011.

However, Police Lieutenant General Kamronwit Toopkrajang, chairman of the Pathum Thani Provincial Administrative Organisation, has declared parts of Moo 1 and Moo 10 in the Sala Khru area of Nong Suea district as disaster zones. This is due to the severe flooding experienced in these areas.

Following his inspection of the Raphiphat channel’s floodgate in the Nong Suea district, he announced that the Pathum Thani PAO will be deploying 20 water pumps. This move anticipates the arrival of more water from Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok to the area soon.

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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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