Bangkok prepares evacuation plan in case of high flooding

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 By  MCOT

BANGKOK, Oct 9 – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to use schools as temporary shelters in case the city is hit by flooding, said Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, adding that press conferences on water levels are to be made twice daily.

Emergency evacuation plans for residents living in Bangkok's 27 water-prone communities in 13 districts have been prepared and rehearsed.

Any evacuation in Bangkok is to be in cooperation with Bangkok Medical Emergency Service Centre (Erawan) and the Department of Education (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) to set up temporary evacuation centres in public schools of the capital.

The governor affirmed City Hall was still capable of handling the situation and asked people not to panic.

Chief district officers, particularly those responsible for areas outside dykes and risky areas in the east such as Min Buri, Nong Chok, Khlong Sam Wa, are to make their own decisions regarding logistics of sleeping and eating for evacuees.

BMA is also planning to provide another one million sandbags, from the existing stock of two million, to prepare for high tides on Oct 15-18.

Drainage and Sewerage Department director Sanya Cheenimit said the water situation in the Thai capital was worrying and needed to be closely monitored.

The water flow at Chao Phraya and Rama VI Dams reached 4,943 cubic metres/second on Sunday, an increase of 22 cubic metres/second from Saturday.

According to Mr Sanya, the water levels passing through Bangkok's Rama XIII Bridge stood at 4,000 cubic metres/second and Saturday night’s highest water level was recorded at 2.03 metres.

The capital's dykes can handle water as high as 2.50-3.00 metres.

Meanwhile, Emergency Operation Center for Flood, Storm and Landslide on Sunday reported flooding remains in 30 provinces and fatalities reached 253 with four missing.

The Centre warned of widespread rain in all regions and heavy rain in some areas. Local residents in 12 provinces – Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Bangkok, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat – residing near waterways have been alerted of flooding.

The situation in lower central provinces, particularly Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Bangkok is also worrying as the water level is likely to increase due to the inundation from Ayutthaya.

Each province is warned to be ready to handle high levels of water.

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