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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     1 November  2011

Thailand drained in 10 days?

About 5.5 billion cubic meters of northern runoff will be drained into the sea within 10 days, the Thai Flood Relief Operation Command (Froc) says.

The Froc yesterday said the Royal Irrigation Department (RID)will present a plan on how to drain the water to the cabinet today.

Over a 10-day period, the tide will fall and begin to rise again on November 10 before reaching a peak on November 13.

The Froc estimated that about 9.9 billion cubic metres of northern runoff had been drained to the sea in the east and west of Bangkok and there remained about 5.5 billion cu/m in the north and the west of Bangkok.

At a rate of 550 million cu/m a day of drainage capacity, the water volume should be drained in 10 days.

Deputy Bangkok governor Thirachon Manomaipibul yesterday said the water level in Khlong 2 had stabilised and was likely to fall after the sluice gates at Khlong 9-13 in Nong Chok have been dismantled.

The RID has installed more water pumps at Khlong 13 to drain water to the Bang Pakong River. It is expected the water level in Khlong Hok Wa near Sai Mai district will drop to a controllable 2m at mean sea level, Mr Thirachon said.

With this measure in place, there is an 80 percent chance that about 20 districts of Bangkok will be spared from the deluge, he said. They include economic zones and areas far from canal sides such as Din Daeng, Phaya Thai, Bung Kum, Bang Sue, Saphan Sung, Watthana, Prawet, Bang Kapi, Sathorn, Thung Kru and Ratchathewi.

Former Bangkok governor Bhichit Rattakul said yesterday City Hall workers are racing to build a flood wall at Khlong Dum sluice gate where Phahon Yothin meets Khlong Rangsit, using filled sandbags weighing about 1.5 tonnes each.

The 4km levee is intended to stem the flow of the northern runoff on Vibhavadi Rangsit and Phahon Yothin roads in the capital. Construction is expected to be finished in the next few days.

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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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