Bangkok on alert as Xangsane approaches
Bangkok was yesterday put on alert for heavy rain and flash-floods as Typhoon Xangsane makes landfall in Vietnam today before heading for Thailand's Northeast.
Governor Apirak Kosayodhin yesterday held an emergency meeting with city officials to search for ways to cope with the deluge.
Apirak said the Meteorological Department told him that Bangkok was facing a high volume of rainfall at about 100 millimetres per hour. He said the forecast said that tomorrow and Tuesday were expected to be the worst rainy days in the capital.
Apirak said the city administration had drained water out of the Saen Saeb, Samsen and Phra Khanong canals to prepare for the deluge, and that water pumps had been installed in Prawet, Lat Krabang, Bang Kapi and Suan Luang districts in the eastern parts of the capital, which are expected to be the worst affected.
The Meteorological Department yesterday also warned the northeastern provinces to prepare for heavy downpours and flash-floods brought by the typhoon.
Ubon Ratchathani and Mukdahan, as well provinces along the coastline of Gulf of Thailand such as Chanthaburi, Trat and Chumphon will also be affected by heavy rain and high seas, the department said, adding that these regions might face flash-floods and water run-off until Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a medical team at Mae Chan hospital in Chiang Rai was put on alert after several sub-districts in Mae Chan were inundated by flash-floods.
Dozens of flat-bottomed boats were sent to evacuate several thousand villagers who were trapped when the flood hit their villages, said Charnchai Tassu, chief of Chiang Rai's disaster prevention and mitigation centre.
More than 1,000 houses in Mae Kham, Chan Jah, and Srikham sub-districts in Mae Chan district and Sri Boon Yeun sub-district in Chiang Saen district were flooded with about one to 1.5 metres of water.
No casualties or severe damage were reported. However, Charnchai said he had asked Mae Chan and several provincial hospitals under the management of the Public Health Ministry to be prepared to treat any victims.
Villagers in Angthong's Pa Moke district were not so lucky, however, as two people died after a sluice-gate in the district broke early yesterday, allowing water to flood some 100 houses.
A high volume of water released from the Chao Phya Dam in Chai Nat was reported as the cause of the broken gate.
Dam managers released water at 2,426 cubic metres per second, faster than Friday's 2,294 cubic metres per second.
The body of Somkuan Kotchsawadi was found floating in the floodwater while Chaiwat Prongchai, 16, was pronounced dead at Angthong Hospital after being electrocuted in his flooded house.
In Prachin Buri, water from the Khao Yai National Park swelled the Prachin Buri River causing flash-floods in Na Di and Kabin Buri districts. Highway 304, which passes Baan Khok Industrial Estate, was inundated with about a metre of water.