Bangkok will not flood

19 Sep 2011

Officials in Bangkok stated at the weekend they were confident the Thai capital would not be flooded by run-off waters from the northern regions of the country. Floodwaters that have so far claimed more than 100 lives are expected to reach Bangkok later today or tomorrow.

Sanya Sheenimit, the boss of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s (BMA) Drain and Waterways bureau, said Bangkok would avoid the deluges as long as there was no more heavy rainfall over the weekend.

The weakest point on the embankments of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River is 2.5m high and able to withstand water flow of 3,500m³ a second. In Ayutthaya, around 100kms north of Bangkok, officials measured the Chao Phraya’s flow of water at 3,2000m³ per second.

Farther upstream, near Chai Nat, the flow was 3,700m³, but was expected to disperse in the central regions of Lop Buri, Sing Buri and Angthong. Water catchment areas such as drained rice paddy fields and ponds will hold some of the water run-off.

The spread of the waters is expected to lessen the impact on Bangkok. Mr Sheenimit said that the less than expected water flow plus measures taken to combat the floods should ensure most of Bangkok remained dry.  

BMA workers have built a sandbag embankment along a one-kilometre stretch of the Chao Phraya and are in the process of shoring up other weak points. The Rapipat Canal leads out of the river and drainage channels dug next to it will lessen expected deluges and allow the waters to reach the Gulf of Thailand easily. 

Tags: Bangkok flood

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