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Saturday, October 29, 2011

BANGKOK City almost through critical phase – PM | Thai Travel News

BANGKOK FLOODS: City almost through critical phase – PM

30/10/2011 – We continue to advise holidaymakers to defer any non-essential travel to Bangkok at this point in time. Bangkok’s flood protection managed to hold during yesterday’s high tide. The situation at the present time remains highly unpredictable and could change at short notice. We will review the situation in the next 24-48 hours. This advisory does not apply to Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Koh Samet, Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has urged residents of Bangkokto exercise patience and to refrain from destroying flood protection barriers.

The PM’s announcement comes as the city fights to stay dry during Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century, which has led to the deaths of more than 350 around the country, and more than a million displaced as a result of the floods.

Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra and BMA chief Sukhumbhand Paribatra discuss plans to drain water from submerged parts of the city.

The PM explained that the city is currently experiencing its critical peak. However, she urged residents not to interfere with flood defence barriers set up at vital locations that were keeping the streets of the sprawling metropolis free of floodwater.

“Please hang on for a few more days. Save these dykes and we will gradually drain the water away from all the areas,” she said.

If drainage worked according to plan, all associated agencies would be sent into action as soon as humanly possible and the mass of water heading for Bangkok could be reduced.

She also explained that if Royal initiative embankments were left unharmed, the volume of water that flowed into Bangkok could be kept under control, and efforts to relieve areas affected by flooding could commence early next week.

“It might not be sweet and sound like in a normal situation, but I believe we will be able to restore normalcy in a short time. We have teams who keep facilities working so there will be no interruptions.”

Ms Yingluck advised people in Bangkok to monitor the situation on the news and to pay attention to official announcements.

She used her weekly radio address to highlight the recovery procedures planned for the city, which included expediting the drainage of water in Rangsit and Khlong Hok Wa canals. Water would be drained through gates 6-13 of Rangsit canal, while the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration would focus on hastening the flow of water, siphoning it off.

An Orient Thai MD-82 jet is surrounded by water at the flooded Don Mueang Airport.

The PM explained that drainage to the west of the city remained problematic, with the Royal Irrigation Department rushing to fix dykes along the Chao Phraya River, while aiming to speed up the rate of drainage via the Tha Chin River.

The BMA will aim to drain water through the partially-flooded district of Thawee Wattana, Asee Charoen and Maha Chai canals.

While the government has offered some encouraging signs, the risk of flooding has not been completely eliminated as of yet.

Justice Minister Pracha Promnok said that the capital was still in the path of a massive volume of water that was headed for the sea. This means that the city must drain water effectively and efficiently, many canals that spread throughout the city face spilling over.

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