Hopefully Bangkok will be better prepared next time...
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday promised to call a halt to today's flood drainage test in Bangkok within five minutes if something goes awry amid nagging concerns about overflows.
In the country's first-ever such test, river water will be released in Bangkok's west to examine and evaluate the efficiency of canals and pumps in carrying the surge away to the sea.
Royol Chitradon, director of the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII) and a member
of the National Water Resources and Flood Policy Committee, said all facilities including pumps, water pushing machines and water level metres were 90 per cent ready for the test. It will be conducted from 2pm to 6pm this afternoon.
In the test, seven cubic metres per second of water from the Thawee Wattana Water Gate will be discharged into Thawee Wattana Canal and coursed through Phasi Charoen Canal before flowing into Bang Waek and out through Phraya Ratchamontri Canal and the Tha Chin River.
The weak point in the western area is where Thawee Wattana Canal narrows near Phetkasem Soi 69 and the current slows from 45 cubic metres per second to 10 cu metres per second.
"We hope that everything goes well and we can collect complete information to make a water model that helps manage the flood and drought situation in the country. This is the first-ever test that we have done," he said.
Four monitoring stations have been set up, including one at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Department of Drainage and Sewerage, where Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra will be in charge.
The BMA station is connected via a video link with the main station located at HAII.
The HAII station will also link with the two others, located at Phetkasem Soi 10/4 in the western area, and the Klong Song Sai Tai sluice gate in the eastern flank.
Sensors and CCTV cameras have been installed to measure the flow rate and water level in the canal.
"We will stop the drainage test immediately if the rainfall is over 30 millimetres per hour as we do not want to make any problems for people," Royol said.
Yingluck was worried about the weather conditions today, as there could be heavy rain during the test.
She instructed the Interior Ministry and the National Water Resources and Flood Policy Committee to keep a close eye on the test and be prepared to end it within five minutes if needed.
Test to be stopped if it goes wrong - The Nation
Why don't they just move back up to Ayutthaya and turn Bangkok into an oyster farm?
That would have worked really well last year.
They should move east into the hills around Saraburi instead.
We could all sit outside on banana lounges discussing the best way to rebuild a 4WD transmission and agree, through shared stories of conquests supporting our assertions, that there is no basis to the proposition that those least assured of their persuasions are the first to condemn others for theirs.
Maybe Stamp could help out. The Dutchies have a lot of experience with flooding and sticking their fingers in dikes ... or is that "dykes"?
This from MCOT:
AYUTTHAYA, Sept 5 – More than 1,000 rai of paddy field in this 'rice bowl' province, 76km north of Bangkok, was flooded Wednesday as the water level rose one metre higher than the Chao Phraya river, the lifeline of the central plains.
The abrupt flooding was apparently a result of the government’s three-day drainage tests for western and eastern Bangkok which started Wednesday.
Suparerk Klankla, an official of Ayutthaya’s Bangpa-in district, said farmers had to urgently harvest paddy in their flooded rice fields, or it would be severely damaged.
It was reported that water was released into the Rapipat irrigation canal from the Rama VI Dam.
The Rapipat canal on the eastern side of the river is a pass-through for water from the North to Bangkok. Water level in the canal was reportedly higher than usual Wednesday.
Water in the Bangpa-in swamp could not be drained, consequently it overflowed into nearby farmers’ paddy fields, the local government civil servant said.
Sixty-year-old Manee Ruenbutr, who owns more than 30 rai of double-crop paddy field, said the flood was without warning, and affected many farmers in the area
This from The Nation..
Floods after Thursday's rain raise questions on drainage
BANGKOK: -- Yesterday's flooding in many Bangkok areas pointed to flaws in the capital's drainage systems, according to experts, some of whom also questioned the government's decision to direct upriver run-offs into the sea through the heart of the capital.
Meanwhile, the National Water Resources and Flood Policy Committee (NWRFPC) said its plan to install water-pushing machines and other flood-prevention devices in canals in eastern Bangkok had saved residential areas near Lat Phrao Canal from flooding on Thursday night.
The NWRFPC said these machines had smoothly drained flood water from Lat Phrao Canal into the Rama IX flood-diversion tunnel, which would drain the water into the Chao Phraya River.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said the flooding in the residential areas surrounding Lat Phrao Canal was caused by the NWRFPC's incomplete dredging.
The NWRFPC cancelled its plan to open the watergate at Klong Song Canal after heavy overnight rain and thus prevented the discharge of water into Lat Phrao Canal.
The drainage test scheduled for yesterday was supposed to examine the efficiency and capacity of Lat Phrao Canal to drain water into the Rama IX diversion tunnel.
After cancellation of the drainage test, the NWRFPC decided to run all the flood-prevention machines, including pumps and water-pushing machines, which previously had been installed for the drainage test. The use of the machines was aimed at helping the BMA drain water out of the capital and also study the capability of these devices.
Because of the heavy rain on Thursday night, the level of water in some canals in Bangkok rose sharply - to 145 millimetres in Saphan Sung district, and 109.5mm in Sai Mai district and Klong Saen Sab.
"The decision to cancel the drainage test was based on academic knowledge, not on pressure from the BMA," said NWRFPC member Royol Chitradon, who is director of the Hydro and Agro-Informatics Institute.
The NWFPC jointly made the decision with BMA Deputy Governor Wanlop Suwanphakdi to cancel the test, he added.
The water level in the canal before the rainfall was measured at 60 centimetres from mean sea level. After the heavy rain on Thursday night, the level in the canal was measured at 1 metre from mean sea level.
"We would not be able to control the situation if the level of water in the canal continued to rise," Royol said.
Meanwhile, Samai Jai-In, an NWRFPC member, said the committee had seen many weak points in the drainage system in many canals, particularly Lat Phrao Canal, which is on a low plain area and has been shallow. Moreover, a lot of garbage has been found in the canal, especially in the Rama IX flood-diversion tunnel, which makes drainage difficult.
"The flood-prevention equipment that we had installed in this canal could drain water within three hours," he said.
Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra posted comments in his Facebook account and told Bangkokians not to be worried about the flood situation. He added that the level of water in Klong Song was too high and that was the reason the BMA did not want the NWRFPC to open the watergate.
"I can handle any problem during the government's drainage test, discharging water into the heart of capital," he said.
He later held a news conference to explain the cancellation of the test, saying he wanted to thank the government for listening to the recommendation from his agency.
"The BMA's facilities were good enough to drain flood water into Rama IX flood diversion by midnight," he said.
Professor Thanawat Jaruphongsakul, a senior seismologist at Chulalongkorn University, said the government should divert flood water to areas outside the capital, as flood-prevention infrastructure in Bangkok was not ready to cope.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government might consider running the drainage test again next week.
This has the familiar Thai air of "if at first you don't succeed try the first thing you think of, and if that doesn't work etc. etc. "
I hear it flooded down near Future Park and Klong 1 this week. This is pretty normal though; would be interested to see the severity of the said flood. Another terms of six day weeks holds very little appeal!
If there is flooding this will be the last such season for eight years or so. The La Nina climate cycle has flipped to El Nino this year. Forecasts in Australia are that we are in for a hot dry summer with big storms rolling through but much reduced rain.
unless it really starts pissing down, there won't be much floodin this year. The the monkey cheeks aren't full as of now.
"Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."
- Woody Allen
Panel chief urges Bangkok residents to pay attention to flood-related info
There is only a "slim chance" Bangkok will face flooding as bad as last year. That's because it would take at least 17 storms this and next month to produce the same amount of water, according to Royol Chitdon, a panel chief on the Water and Flood Management Committee (WFMC).
In an exclusive interview with The Nation, Royol urged the public, especially Bangkokians, to avoid panic by paying more attention to the flood-related information.
"I can't tell you and I won't tell you whether there will definitely be flooding or no flooding this year. The only thing I can say is Thailand has a slim chance of facing a situation like last year's flood," said Royol, who is also the director of the Hydro and Agro Infomatics Institute (HAII).
However, flood-prone low-lying areas would likely face repeated flooding, he conceded. Royal urged residents to look at statistical comparisons to past floods rather than just asking if there will be flooding or not.
Statistics gathered by HAII show the amount of run-off in the upper Chao Phraya basin a year ago was eight billion cubic metres. The amount of run-off in the same area this year stands at 1,000 cubic metres.
While the run-off amount in the lower Chao Phraya basin last year was at 12 billion to 14 billion cubic metres, the amount now was 300 million cubic metres.
It would take at least seven storms in the upper Chao Phraya basin and 12 storms in the lower basin to create the amount of floodwater to equal last year's calamity, Royol said.
"There is a slim chance that 17 storms could occur this month and next because of the current weather conditions and the presence of the El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean," he explained.
Since last year, flood-prevention measures have been improved and implemented in the flood-affected areas including Bangkok. Measures put in place in the past few months include canal dredging, water pumps and water-pushing machines. Drainage tests were done in Bangkok recently to study the capacity of canals.
The shallow, low-lying Lat Phrao Canal was seen as the weakest point in the city's drainage system. The canal also suffered from blockages due to construction and garbage. However, a water-pushing machine raised the canal's drainage capacity to 17 cubic metres per second.
A water-pushing machine could drain water from western Bangkok's Thawee Wattana Canal at 15 cubic metres per second, according to the test, after 20 per cent of that volume was released into the canal.
To protect Bangkok, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has prepared 40 water-pushing machines to drain water in city canals while the Royal Thai Navy Dockyard has prepared another 40 water-pushing machines.
"The situation this year has changed from last year," Royol said.
Run-off is currently not being drained through BMA canals in order to better enable the city to deal with rainwater this season, Royol noted.
He suggested that Bangkokians closely follow the flood situation from reliable sources. "We found that Bangkok people don't pay enough attention to the flood situation nor do they seek more information to understand the situation. They just care about their business," he said. In contrast, upcountry residents were more dutiful in monitoring the flood situation and weather.
"What I found is people tend to believe information according to who delivers the message rather than really considering the source of the information."
Last edited by Chang; 19th September 2012 at 00:26.