Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Officials in Thailand see signs of decreasing flood risk

BANGKOK (WNN) – Widespread flooding in Thailand was easing, allowing the capital Bangkok to avoid serious damage, officials said on Monday.

Eight people were killed and a woman was missing in a storm that hit hundreds of thousands of homes a week ago in 32 of the country’s 77 provinces.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said floodwaters in 14 provinces, mostly in the north and northeast, were receding, while the central region, which includes the historic old capital Ayutthaya, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Bangkok, is still in decline. was also facing rising water. Level.

Photographs of the city show monks sailing in flood waters around a giant reclining Buddha statue.

Seasonal rains are responsible for local flooding, but water flowing down the Chao Phraya River from the north exacerbates the problem. Dams and reservoirs along the river store as much water as possible to help with irrigation during droughts, but are then unable to stop the flow of water from above during the rainy season.

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Some dams and reservoirs in the central region reached their capacity last month and were forced in recent days to increase the amount of water they release, contributing to further flooding.

“The water we have released in the last four to five days has already reached Bangkok,” said Prapit Chanma, director general of the Royal Irrigation Department.

If there is no more rain, we can expect the flood situation to subside, he added. However, a new storm is forecast to hit Thailand later this week.

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