Heaviest rain in two decades pushes Bangkok’s canals to the brink

Bangkok rain

Bangkok’s heaviest rains in over two decades are pushing its canals to the brink. The downpours started Tuesday evening, overwhelming the canals. Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said Bang Khen district has reported 170 millimetres of rain since Tuesday, which has been the highest amount in 20 years.

Klong Lat Phrao and Kong Prem Prachakon canals have seen water levels rising to the point of causing massive flooding. The Bang Khen roundabout and areas surrounding the new, electric train route tracks have all flooded. The governor has attributed part of the flooding to the new tracks as drainage has slowed.

He says the government is doing the best it can to drain the flood waters off the roads, but high water levels at the canals have made it difficult. Chardchart is urging motorists to plan trips around the weather, as he says poor planning has caused many motorists to get stuck in flooded areas.

“With so many cars stuck in these areas, even military trucks deployed to help flood victims couldn’t reach them in time. These lessons have been learned and we hope to make [our response] better.”

The governor has advised Bang Khen, Lat Phrao, Don Muang, and Chatuchak residents to stay alert as more heavy rain is expected.

Yesterday at 8.45 pm, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt live-streamed flooding in the Bang Khen district via Facebook. Chadchart walked to the flooded area from Wat Phra Sri Mahathat BTS Station to offer help to those caught in the floods.

Governor Chadchart, in a fluorescent yellow jacket, got knee-deep in the floods to help push stranded vehicles through the water.

Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered all military units in Bangkok to distribute water pumps and help to drain floodwater last night, as well as provide assistance to victims of the flood in Bangkok and its vicinity.

The public is posting photos, videos and updates about the floods under the Twitter hashtag #น้ำท่วม (#flood).

Heavy rainfall and flash flooding are expected to continue until Friday all over Thailand, according to the Thai Meteorological Department.

Meanwhile, the Thai Cabinet yesterday approved a budget of almost 1.6 billion to deal with Thailand’s perpetual flood problems. Some 912 million baht has been set aside for water management during the rainy and drought seasons while 664 million baht has been allocated for new water pumps.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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