11 July 2024

About 70 temples and historical sites in Ayutthaya province, located outside the city’s ancient walls, are submerged and at risk of collapse if the flooding persists, according to Pattarapong Kao-ngern, director of Ayutthaya Historical Park.

He said that the foundations of temples and historical sites remain strong, but may be eroded by the floodwater and that may lead to the collapse of the main structures.

He also said that, even though there are sandbag flood walls to protect these places and water is being drained out, it still seeps through underground and this will affect their foundations, hence, the need to assess the damage and make repairs once the water has receded.

Temples and other ancient sites, including Pom Phet Temple, which located next to the Chao Phraya River, and Chaiwattanaram Temple, have now been closed to the public.

A confrontation was reported yesterday, at the Bang Kung Canal sluice gate in Bang Ban district, between two rival groups of villagers, one from Bang Ban district and the other from Bang Pahan district.

The villagers from Bang Ban district first gathered at the sluice gate after they learned that it would be closed, to prevent water from being drained into a water retention area in Bang Pahan district.

One villager, from Ban Kum sub-district in Bang Ban district, claimed that about 900 households in the sub-district are already flooded and, if the sluice gate is closed, flooding will worsen and that would increase their suffering.

Police and local officials rushed to the scene to maintain order, as irrigation officials and those from the two districts tried to mediate the conflict, which was eventually resolved peacefully after irrigation officials agreed to cut the volume of water being released into the water retention area for seven days, after which the officials will reassess the water situation and consider what to do next.