Flood Warning Issued As Chao Phraya Dam Increases Discharge Rate

The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has issued a new flood warning to provinces along the Chao Phraya River.

The RID called on provinces around the river to prepare for increased risk of flooding, as the Chao Phraya dam in Chai Nat is set to increase its discharge rate to avoid overfilling during heavy rains.

Provinces that could be at risk are Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, and Bangkok.

RID Deputy Director General Thawisak Thanadechophon said the amount of runoff flowing into major rivers and dams in northern Thailand is expected to increase due to heavy downpours.

Experts have predicted a new heavy rains period set to continue until Sunday in almost the entire country.

In order to face the situation, the Chao Phraya Dam’s discharge rate should be increased from 1,800 cubic meters to 2,000 cubic meters per second this week, Mr. Thawisak stated.

As a result, levels downstream of the Chao Phraya are expected to rise by 40 to 60 centimeters, he added.

The announcement came after the flood situation in Rangsit municipality in Pathum Thani worsened.

On Tuesday, water levels in Khlong Rangsit Prayunsak, the municipality’s main canal, reached a critical point. Authorities issued a warning, urging residents in low-lying communities to move their belongings to higher ground.

RID Director General Praphit Chanma dismissed accusations that poor management had caused flooding in Pathum Thani, insisting that torrential rain of more than 300 millimeters in some downstream areas had worsened the situation.

Bangkok Governor Chardchart Sittipunt said a key canal facing critical water level is Khlong Prawet Buri Rom in the capital’s eastern areas, as it has already caused flooding in the Lat Krabang district.

Mr. Chadchart also warned that high water levels in parts of Chachoengsao, a major water catchment area, have hampered drainage efforts in Lat Krabang.

Meanwhile, Bangkok’s governor has proposed a plan to build a “flood highway” that would allow runoff in the city’s upstream areas to drain faster and directly into the sea.

Speaking to Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda on Wednesday, Mr. Chadchart said the flood highway would be a long-term solution to prevent future severe flooding in the capital.