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THAI FLOOD UPDATES Asean Affairs     23  October  2011

Khlong Watch - 5 p.m.

The level of Khlong Phra Kanong (Phra Kanong canal) at Ban Lai pumping station has dropped about 25 centimeters from the previous sighting 24 hours earlier. However, the current has increased and the khlong is carrying more debris. This may indicate that more sluice gates have been opened allowing more water to pass through more quickly at the Ban Lai checkpoint. The canal opens directly into the Chao Phraya river. Local residents feel that the combination of a lower water level of the canal and a faster current suggests that the canal at this point in time is doing its job admirably, draining Bangkok.


Former Irrigation Department chief and water expert Pramote Mai-glad expressed confidence that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration can defend against tide surge into Chao Phraya river, inundating some areas.

Mr. Pramote was invited by both BMA and Froc (the flood relief center)to give advice, agreed with the measure to open sluice gates to allow water to flow into canals in inner Bangkok to help drain off excess water, but BMA must manage the water in the canals not to be too high to overflow banks.


Thai troops on Sunday reinforced vulnerable barriers along Bangkok's Chao Phraya river after a sudden rise in the water level set back efforts to contain the worst floods in decades.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has warned it could take six weeks for the deadly flooding to recede, telling residents in the capital to prepare for possible inundation of up to one meter.

Three months of heavy monsoon rains have killed more than 350 people in Thailand and damaged the homes and livelihoods of nine million people.

More than 110,000 evacuees have been forced to seek refuge in 1,743 shelters from waters that the government has described as unstoppable.

The authorities are battling the slowly advancing floods on several fronts, with parts of the northern outskirts of Bangkok already under waist-deep water.

The level of the Chao Phraya river is now causing "great concern", the government said.

The river briefly overflowed Saturday, causing flooding in parts of five central Bangkok districts -- including near the political heartland -- prompting a race to fix the leaks before the next high tide on Sunday evening.

The Bangkok authorities have urged about 3,000 people living on the banks of the Chao Phraya on the river side of the flood barriers to move to emergency shelters.

In the north of the city, meanwhile, the floods were closing in Bangkok's second-largest airport, Don Muang, part of which has been turned into a refuge for thousands of evacuees and is defended by walls of sandbags.

More than 150 schools in the capital have also been prepared as emergency shelters.

The government is desperately trying to drain billions of cubic metres of water from upcountry out to sea through rivers and canals in and around the city by opening all sluice gates.

"There are several factors that we can't control. The water is coming in two directions," Yingluck told reporters.

"Bangkok residents will be affected because water will flow down, particularly through the Saen Saeb canal (which crosses the city centre) and the drainage system which will help water to be diverted out quickly."

Another major test is expected between October 28 and 30 when seasonal high tides flow up the Chao Phraya, meeting run-off water from the north.


Science Minister Plodprasob Surassawadee on Sunday urged the government to tell the truth to Bangkok residents and predicted that all parts of Bangkok would be flooded more than a month. The head of the National Disaster Warning Center, said the government should immediately give all the truth to the people without worrying that the truth would cause panic among the public.

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Thai Flood Update    23  October  2011
 • October 23, 2011 - 9.00 PM
• October 22, 2011 - 9.00 AM
• October 21, 2011 - 10.00 PM
• October 21, 2011 - 6.00 PM
• October 21, 2011 - 3.00 PM

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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