11 July 2024

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has declared Lat Krabang district a flood “disaster zone” so provision of assistance can be expedited, to relieve the hardships of some 20,000 residents in 10,300 households who have been suffering from heavy flooding for over a week.

The disaster zone covers six sub-districts of Lat Krabang, namely Lat Krabang, Khlong Sont Ton Nun, Khlong Sam Prawet, Khum Thong, Thap Yao and Lam Pla Thio.

BMA Spokesman Ekwaranyu Umrapal explained today (Thursday) that they have not ignored the flood problem in Lat Krabang, as some claim, but have been trying hard to ease the problem there.

In addition to the households, he said that about 128 hectares of rice fields, several fish farms and fruit orchards in the district have been damaged by flooding.

BMA Permanent Secretary Khachit Chatchavanich said that, in the past two weeks, Bangkok has been lashed with an average of 100mm of rain every day, resulting in flooding in many areas.

He said, however, that situation in Lat Krabang, Prawet and Nong Chok is improving, with the flood water level receding by about 50cm after Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt ordered the sluice gates in Lat Krabang and Krathum Suea Pla to be opened yesterday, to increase the outflow of water from swollen canals.

He also said that the governor has asked the National Water Command Centre to open a waterway to divert the water into the Bang Kapong River in Chachoengsao province and then into the Gulf of Thailand.

In Lak Si, Don Mueang and Bang Khen districts, Khachit said that the water level in the Prem Prachakon canal, the main canal in those areas, has dropped from its peak of 1.56 metres to about one metre and many previously flooded roads are drying up. He expects the situation to return to normal in a few days, if there are no heavy rainfall.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Dr. Tavida Kamolvej said that, in the past weeks, the BMA has been updating information of rainfall in each district and have placed officials on standby to be dispatched to help to direct traffic, help stranded commuters and to provide first-aid among others.

She explained that the declaration of a disaster zone in Lat Krabang is not intended to cause panic, but to speed up help for the flood victims.