The Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) is expecting heavy rain in 14 provinces with a heightened flood risk in southern provinces from Oct 15. Local authorities have been ordered to be on alert, install necessary mitigation equipment, and notify villagers, reports state news agency NNT.
ONWR Secretary-General Somkiat Prajamwong disclosed the outcome of a joint meeting with the National Water Command Center and related agencies to assess the water situation, advising that high precipitation is expected from Oct 15 onwards in Chonburi, Chantaburi, and Trat in the eastern region; Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan in the western region; Surat Thani, Chumphon, Ranong, and Trang in the southern region; and in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, and Songkhla on the mid-southwest coast of the country, where the situation is expected to be more severe.
The office has already coordinated with the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) and the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) to install equipment such as water pumps, flow accelerators and excavators in the flood-risk areas, and notify villagers to prepare for a potential disaster, NNT reported. (See story here.)
"What we need to watch out for, is from 15th October in the southern region, particularly in the mid-section of the west coast. 14 provinces will be affected. The main issue is, in October from the 15th, so we have already assigned the Royal Irrigation Department and DDPM to relocate their machinery and equipment into flood risk areas to prevent difficulties, especially in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, and Songkhla which could be most affected." Mr Somkiat said.
On the drought disaster at the other end of the country, latest information shows there is now no more than 1 billion cubic meters of reserved water for the second rice farming season and other continuous cropping in the Central region, Mr Somkiat explained.
The ONWR has notified related agencies to make plans accordingly to avoid water shortages. In the northeastern region, current low water availability at dams in Khon Kaen and Chaiyaphum has prompted related agencies to work on a back-up plan in the likelihood of water shortages in next year’s dry season, he added.