Flooding threatens major industrial estate in Ayutthaya; evacuation ordered

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BANGKOK, Oct 12 – The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) on Wednesday ordered the evacuation of all workers in the Ayutthaya Hi-Tech Industrial Estate due to possible flooding.

IEAT Director Montha Pranutnorapan said the mandatory evacuation announcement followed as earlier request Oct 7 for cooperation from all factories to voluntarily close.

However, the authorities now fear difficulties in evacuation if flooding hits the industrial estate, so it orders immediate evacuation.

According to latest reports, all factories have been shut down and an initial report indicated that the flood breached flood prevention wall at Hi-Tech on Wednesday morning.

The IEAT said Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Kittirat Na Ranong is inspecting reinforcement and elevation of the flood prevention wall north of the Hi-Tech Industrial Estate from 5.5 metres high to 6.5 metres.

As of 9.30am Wednesday, Hi-Tech Nittsu Co. President Thavich Taychanavakul said that flood has not yet entered the estate in volume but that the substantial water broke a dyke which is being repaired to save the entire estate.

Nearly all 143 factories at the estate are auto parts manufacturers.

Meanwhile, some factories in the Navanakhon industrial zone in Ayutthaya closed in advance of actual flooding in anticipation of the safety needs of workers.

IEAT Director Montha said the agency is working with industrial estates to influence the flooding direction. Ladkrabang, Well Grow, Anyathani and Bangplee industrial estates in eastern Bangkok are on alert for possible flooding.

Flood drainage in the eastern areas may affect four industrial estates – Anyathani Industrial Estate, Ladkrabang Industrial Estate in Bangkok, Well Grow Industrial Estate in Chachoengsao and Bangplee Industrial Estate in Samut Prakan.

IEAT met with the estates to prepare for flooding with reinforcement of flood walls, installing pumps and preparing emergency plans.