ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai government warns residents to stay off barriers
The Thai government has declared water gates and flood barriers special control zones as it struggles not only with the disaster but also with interference from protesting affected residents.
The provincial governors of Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya yesterday announced water gates, flood barriers and water pump stations had been declared off-limits to the public.
The announcement, issued under Section 31 of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act, prohibits any persons from disrupting the authorities' disaster management works and gives powers to local administrative officials to remove or destroy any structures that obstruct disaster control operations.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered the closure of Phra-in Racha sluice gate in Khlong Raphipat in Bang Pa-in district of Ayutthaya province, adjacent to Khlong 1 in Khlong Luang district of Pathum Thani yesterday.
The order came after week-long opposition from locals. The failure to close the sluice gate sent floodwater from Wang Noi district of Ayutthaya through Khlong 1 to Rangsit in Pathum Thani and further to Khlong Prem Prachakorn, which flows down to Bangkok.
Run-off from Pathum Thani and overflow from Khlong Prem Prachakorn has already flooded northern Bangkok.
Irrigation officials, however, could not close the sluice gate due to strong flood currents.
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