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Floods in Ubon Ratchathani slowly recede; highways severed, Koh Chang ravaged

Floods in Ubon Ratchathani slowly recede; highways severed, Koh Chang ravaged

UBON RATCHATHANI: The Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Tewan Liptapallop, visited people in flood-affected areas of Ubon Ratchanthani province over the weekend as villagers remained evacuated from their homes and major highways throughout five provinces in the area remained inundated by floodwaters.

By The Phuket News

Monday 16 September 2019, 09:35AM

The water level of the Moon River has now dropped by one centimeter, but it will take some time for the flood water to be completely drained away, as the water level is almost four meters higher than the river banks, reporrted state news agency NNT. (See story here.)

Meanwhile, in Phibun Mangsahan district, the Governor of Ubon Ratchathani, Sarit Withoon, said after inspecting the flood situation with Royal Irrigation Department (RID) Director-General Dr Thongplew Kongjun that water from the M7 water monitoring station to the Moon River in Khong Chiam district has steadily decreased, while the water flow velocity has increased, which he said was a positive sign.

RID Director-General Dr Thongplew said his department will increase the number of propeller pumps from 100 to 200 to accelerate the drainage of water into downstream areas. They can be implemented at this time because the water level of the Mekong River is still low. Officials will do their best to restore the situation in Ubon Ratchathani, so that people can return to their homes faster than had been expected, he said.

Meanwhile, Somdet Phra Mahathera Jarn of the Supreme Council of Thailand and Prime Minister’s Office Minister Tewan, who oversees the National Office of Buddhism, presented offerings to monks and novices and survival kits to flood-affected people in the Tambon Chaeramae of Muang Ubon Ratchathani district.

They also inspected the water situation by boat, met with monks at a partly submerged temple, gave moral support to the local people in Nam Saep sub-district of Warin Chamrap district, and visited a mobile kitchen at Warin Chamrap Municipality, the NNT report noted.

Mr Tewan said recent floods have affected 700 monks and 97 temples in Ubon Ratchathani. He said the government is working to overcome the present water situation and assess the damage caused by the floods, before implementing remedial measures as soon as possible.

Heavy flooding hit Koh Chang in Trat province yesterday (Sept 15), with ferry services and coastal and waterfall tours halted after water runoff inundated low-lying properties amid torrential rain and rough seas.

Local officials reported runoff and overflowing canals on the island following more than two days of torrential rain. Several roads, bridges and properties near waterways were damaged, reported the Bangkok Post. (See story here.)

The areas around Khlong Son, Khlong Phlu, Kai Bae and Chai Chet bridges were affected. Motorists were advised to stay away from flooded roads and bridges due to powerful currents, which already engulfed several vehicles, the report added.

The management of Mu Ko Chang National Park closed Khlong Plu and Tan Mayom waterfalls, which were flowing heavily. It also suspended coral tours on Koh Rang island due to rough seas.

Floodwater was reportedly 30-50 centimetres deep in Ban Khlong Phrao, Ban Khlong Makok, Ban Hat Sai Khao, Ban Mab Khang Khao and Ban Kai Bae villages. Several properties near waterways were at least one metre under water. Strong currents slammed branches and logs against bridges, the Bangkok Post reported.

Severe runoff occurred yesterday morning. The levels of local canals were fluctuating as runoff from the island’s mountainous terrain continued. Local authorities said they might request the navy to pick up tourists if rough seas continued unabated.

Major highways throughout fives provinces – Yasothon, Roi Et, Ubon Ratchathani, Prachin Buri and Sisaket – remain affected by the floods, Transport Minister Sak Siamchitchai confirmed yesterday.

As of 1pm Sunday the Department of Highways had confirmed that 14 roads remained impassable, NNT reported. (See story here.)

However, water levels in Ubon Rathani province had started to decline, the department noted.

Some main roads in Ubon Ratchathani town and Warin Chamrap District remained impassable to all vehicles. In total, seven routes Ubon Ratchathani province and one major traffic route in Sisaket remained closed, the Department of Highways confirmed.

Warning signs and safety devices, concrete barriers have been installed and all motorists traveling along the affected roads were urged to exercise caution, strictly follow warning signs and follow instructions of highways workers.

For the current status of major roads throughout, people were urged to call the Department of Highways hotline 1586 (free calls to all networks 24 hours).

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