Evacuation alert for people living downstream of swollen reservoir in Nakhon Ratchasima
People living downstream of the Lam Chiang Krai reservoir, in Thailand’s north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, have been advised to move their valuables to higher ground and to prepare for evacuation in case of sudden flooding.
Meanwhile, Royal Irrigation Department Deputy Director-General Thaweesak Thanadechophol denied press reports today (Monday) that the reservoir banks had collapsed, but he admitted that a small section of the earthen embankment under construction, about 15 metres wide, had caved in, allowing water from the swollen reservoir to flow downstream.
The reservoir is capable of holding a maximum of 27.7 million cubic metres of water, but upstream runoffs from Theparak and Dan Khun Thod districts have raised the volume to about 41.96 million cubic metres, causing excess water to overflow the spillway.
The provincial irrigation chief, Mr. Kitikul Sepasiraporn, assured that the reservoir is, however, strong and the situation now is under control.
Yesterday, Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Kobchai Boonorana ordered district chief officers of Non Thai, Non Soong, Muang and Pimai districts, which are located downstream, to warn people living in low-lying areas or along natural waterways to brace for flooding, to move their belongings to higher grounds and to prepare for immediate evacuation.
Local officials were also instructed to install water pumps in areas considered to be economically important and to provide sand bags for people to protect their houses from flooding.
Irrigation officials overseeing water management at the reservoir have decided to discharge more water, to reduce the pressure on the infrastructure. This may cause the Lam Chiang Krai River and a few other tributaries to overflow and inundate areas on both sides of their banks.