6 June 2024

Thailand’s Royal Irrigation Department (RID) sent an urgent letter to Chainat’s provincial governor today (Saturday), asking him to warn people living on both banks of the Chao Phraya River to brace for a 20cm rise in water levels, due to the diversion of runoffs into the irrigation canal system instead of allowing the water to flow into the river.

RID Director-General Prapit Chanma explained that the diversion of water, at 376 cubic metres/second, is necessary because large areas downstream of the Chao Phraya Dam are heavily flooded, causing widespread hardship to people living there.

He maintained that these people will need urgent help to protect them from more flooding if too much water is allowed to flow through the dam.

He noted that there is still space upstream of the dam to retain the runoffs temporarily, but this will result in a rise in the water levels upstream of the dam, which may affect 700 households and farm land in Muang, Wat Sing and Manorom districts of Chainat and Muang district of Uthai Thani province.

Today’s flow of water in the Chao Phraya River, through Nakhon Sawan and the Chao Phraya Dam, has reducedslightly, to 2,657 cubic metres second, just as the flow in the Sakae Krang River rises to 385 cubic metres/second.

Meanwhile, it is reported that eight riparian temples in Ayutthaya province are heavily flooded, due to the overflowing Chao Phraya and Noi rivers, making itimpossible for monks to receive alms from the public.

To ease the situation, water, rice, dried, canned foods and other necessities are being delivered to the monks in the flooded temples.