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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     17 October  2011

Bangkok weathers flooding

Bangkok is safe, with the massive water runoff from the north passing the capital.

The overall flood problem shows signs of easing, the government's flood relief centre announced yesterday. Most parts of Bangkok would definitely not be flooded, it added.

Some low-lying areas to the east of the capital which are outside of flood protective barriers may experience rising water, but the flooding is being contained, says the Royal Irrigation Department.

Affected areas include Klong Sam Wa, Lat Krabang, Min Buri and Nong Chok districts.
But for the rest of Bangkok, residents could rest assured.

The biggest bulk of accumulated water from upstream provinces had flowed past the capital and emptied into the sea, said Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Theera Wongsamut.

He said the RID had forecast the mass of water would reach Bangkok on the weekend.
At its peak on Saturday, the water level of the Chao Phraya River measured 2.29 metres, one centimeter below what the RID had predicted, at the Memorial Bridge.

Flood water in other provinces will stabilise and gradually recede, he said.

"I can confirm that the biggest water mass is behind us now," Mr. Theera said, adding that the Chao Phraya River would not burst through flood walls protecting Bangkok.

Yongsak Kongmak, of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said flooding within flood-protected localities of Bangkok was the result of collected rainwater, not the northern water run-off.

Bangkok has high-capacity sluice gates to control the ebb and flow of water during high tide.
The 6-kilometer flood barrier along Khlong Hok Wa Sailang, which serves as the main defence for northernmost districts of Don Muang and Sai Mai, has been rebuilt.

It was reported that the northern and eastern districts of Bangkok were particularly vulnerable to advancing water from Ayutthaya which has submerged communities and several industrial estates there.

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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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