CHIANG RAI – Thai officials are warning of rising water levels in the Mekong river. This is due to an imminent water discharge from China’s Jinghong dam in southern Yunnan province.
Heavy rainfall means the Chinese could release the water quite soon. This could raise the water level in Mekong River by several meters within days and worsen flooding in Thai provinces along the Mekong, including Chiang Rai.
Thai authorities are also bracing for more floods in the northeastern part of the country as well.
Meanwhile, other Provinces in Thailand are in the grip of flood season, with nearly 30 provinces in northern parts of the country swamped by heavy rains and swollen rivers. Ten people have been killed, and residents are on standby for even higher flood waters in the coming days and weeks.
Bangkok has been spared of flooding so far this rainy season, but communities living along the Chao Phraya river are anxiously watching the water level in the river and canals.
Thai authorities warned of possible floods, as run-off from northern Thailand will usually reach central Thailand at this time of the year.
Since last week, flooding has occurred in 28 provinces, mostly in northern Thailand and it has affected more than 14,000 people.
Authorities said the water level at the Chao Phraya dam, the main water gateway between the mountainous north and the central plains, are at a critical level.
Flood barriers have been erected and other preparations are being made, with authorities trying to avoid the repeat of the devastating flood which engulfed the capital in 2011.