Severe drought looms ahead; waterways already dried up in some provinces

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NAKHON SAWAN, 6 January 2015 – The anticipated severity of the looming dry season is becoming more imminent, with water in reservoirs and waterways in some provinces having already dried up.

In Nakhon Sawan, rivers were drying up and some waterways have been reduced to small streams. Officials from the local office of the Irrigation Department expect the drought season to fully hit provinces that line the Chao Phraya River in one to two months.

In Phichit, a 120-km stretch of Yom River has dried up to expose parts of the riverbed. Some areas within the stretch have dried up enough for people to cross the river on foot.

In Bangkok, governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra asserted that drought prevention and relief plans have been prepared, especially for the eastern part of city where there is as much as 170,000 rai of farmlands. City Hall officials have also been told to be on alert for bushfires and to deploy fire engines at secluded spots at risk of bushfires.

The government has been warning of the anticipated severity of the drought season in 2015 ever since it discovered during the rainy season that reservoirs around the country have not been receiving the expected amount of rain.