Bangkok – Following the catastrophic dam collapse in Laos earlier this week, the Thai Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has assured the public that the nation’s dams are in good and stable condition and are under constant monitoring with the Smart Water Operation Center (SWOC) working 24 hours a day.
RID Director-General Dr Thongplew Kongchan has stated that all dams under the department’s care are stable and strong as they were designed based on Thailand’s specific climate and conditions while also being able to withstand earthquakes up to 7 on the Richter scale. He added the dams are under constant surveillance and undergo regular maintenance according to international standards. The RID head elaborated that in situations where the dams may overflow, provincial administrations will be notified in writing so that citizens may be appropriately warned.
Further ensuring their safety, the RID has been ordered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to setup round the clock checks on dam integrity and to establish multiple fail safes. The SWOC began operation on July 26 to intensify 24 hour monitoring of the dams.
Addressing flooding spurred by continuing heavy rains in the north and northeast, the RID has installed water pumps to increase drainage and has helped several areas return to normal. The water situation is being assessed at all times and regular reports are available for the public. The department has also provided water pumps and other equipment to agencies in need to reduce any conflicts while also holding regular forums with officials to properly prepare them for action.
The nation’s large and medium sized dams currently hold a total 49.466 billion cubic meters of water, up to 65 percent of their capacity with 25.546 billion cubic meters, ready for use, up by 5.203 billion cubic meters on last year.