Storm Wutip may bring more misery in Bangkok

Storm Wutip may bring more misery in Bangkok

The Weather Bureau warned yesterday of heavy rains in the Northeast tomorrow when tropical storm Wutip is expected to hit upper Vietnam, as parts of Thailand, notably Isaan, continue to reel under floods.

The department also warned that people living in flood-risk areas in Central and Eastern Thailand, especially Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaew, Chanthaburi, Trat and Chachoengsao should brace for heavy rains and possible landslides during this period.

According to the forecast, most of Bangkok, estimated at 80 per cent of the capital, will see rainfall.

In the meantime, the Royal Irrigation Department's Water Analysis Centre reported yesterday that the country's major reservoirs now contain 47,262 million cubic metres of water, about 67 per cent of their capacity. So, they could still hold another 22,800 million cubic metres of water.

The centre also said reservoirs in the Central and Northeast continued to rise due to rain. It affirmed that the department would focus on managing water in reservoirs, taking into account the volume of rain while also aiming to store enough water over the next two months for the upcoming dry season.

Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi told a national audience on the "Prime Minister Yingluck Government Meets the People" TV show yesterday there was only a slim chance of runoff from the North causing a repeat of the 2011 flood crisis in Bangkok. He said the capital would have no overall problem, except the city's eastern side that may face minor flooding, provided there was no rain storm in the north of Bangkok in the next few days.

He also believed the flood situation in Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani would improve in the next couple of days.

Yesterday morning, Prime Minister Yingluck visited a flood-hit area at Wat Bot in tambon Bang Krabeu in Pathum Thani's Sam Khok district.

Plodprasop, who chairs the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC), also urged the PM to instruct officials to tackle the upcoming storm Wutip. He warned that if the storm headed to Ubon Ratchathani, the situation there could worsen, as the province had taken in floodwater from Si Sa Ket and let it through to Prachin Buri.

Thailand has had 1,245 millimetres of rainfall so far this year, 32 per cent lower than in 2011, Plodprasop said. He added that Ayutthaya's Bang Ban district saw the Chao Phraya River rise by 1.5 metres beyond its banks while Angthong's Pa Mok district saw a metre rise beyond its banks. Low-lying areas outside the flood-barrier zone on the left and right banks of the Chao Phraya would see floodwater 60cm to 1.5 metres deep, which was a normal situation.

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