Flood alert system improved : PM
Flooding earlywarning systems will perform better this year than last as all alerts will be integrated and coordinated before reaching the public, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday.Under the improved system, raw data would be fed to a communal centre, where it would be verified, analysed and processed before the public is notified through various channels, including a new website, www.thaiwater.net, Yingluck said. She spoke after finishing an inspection tour of many provinces to check on floodprevention measures and projects.
The website would also receive complaints and notifications from the public while providing basic information and contact details.
Personnel responsible for sending alerts to the public, once the need for an alert had been confirmed and approved, ranged from people at the village level through village heads, kamnan and provincial governors, Yingluck said. However, the warning system would not be available in all areas. It would primarily function in frequently flooded areas, while existing communication mechanisms under the Interior Ministry's supervision would provide assistance.
Asked whether she was happy with the preventive measures in place so far, Yingluck said the situation was better than last year but she was not ready to relax. "We can never feel fully at ease over the situation, but should stay fully prepared under the time constraints and limitations facing us. I insist, once again, that the situation in general is better than last year," she added.
Science Minister Plodprasob Surassawadee said the chance of a massive flood stood at only 1 per cent in lowlying areas and for homes near water sources, adding that Bangkok would not be flooded except for riverside communities, while all flooding would be brief and limited to a low level. He did not give any details to back up his claims, however.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul declared his recent visit to China a success, saying the topics discussed were flood and water management, information technology, highspeed train projects and alternative energy.
Ambassadors of a number of countries would be asked to meet today with Thai officials in charge of water and flood management to discuss an invitation for businesspeople in their countries to bid on projects, Surapong said.