Thailand more worried about drought than floods

Thailand more worried about drought than floods

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda said yesterday he is more concerned about possible drought in the coming dry season than floods.

Anupong said if a storm forecast for next week was not severe then the flood situation should be fine.

"The existing information shows that the mass of water coming downstream is not much. In fact, water volume is small this year. If there are no big storms for the rest of the year, the situation should be fine," he said.

"What we are worried about is the drought situation," he said.

Anupong made this statement prior to his meeting with governors of 19 provinces from central and lower northern regions in Chai Nat province.

The minister said he was in contact with Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, who expressed concerns about the flood situation in a phone chat with him on Friday and said the government would be vigilant despite a comment by the Meteorological Department that the country has so far received less rain than usual this year.

Between this coming Tuesday to Friday, a storm from China's Hainan Island may lead to more rain in the north and northeast regions. This year, the department expects the rainy season to end by October.

Concern is now focusing on the Chao Phraya river basin as well as the Tha Chin river basin.

In regard to flooded areas in the North, the government had sent related officials to assist local people already, Anupong said.

He said the forecast is that there could be a possible flood in the next season so necessary preparations should be made.

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