BANGKOK – Thai authorities on Friday warned that heavy rains this weekend could lead to floods in Bangkok, some northern provinces and popular beach resorts on the Andaman Sea coast.
“There will be heavy rainfall from Friday to Sunday and after that we need to be on the alert for more storms coming in,” said Somchai Baimuang, deputy director general of the Meteorological Department.
The department predicted heavy rainfall in at least 90 percent of the Bangkok metropolitan area this weekend.
The capital has been hard hit by unusually heavy rains all week, peaking at 130 millimetres on September 25.
Bangkok’s drainage system can handle a maximum of 60 millimetres of rain per hour. If exceeded, flooding is inevitable.
Besides Bangkok, authorities have also warned people living or travelling in the northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Phitsanulok, Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Trat, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and the coastal provinces of Ranong, Phang Nga and Krabi to prepare for heavy rain and possible floods, landsides and mudslides.
Since September 4, five people have died in flood-related accidents.
About 813 people died during last year’s rainy season, which saw Thailand’s worst flooding in decades.
The government has allocated more than 300 billion baht (9.8 billion dollars) to find solutions to the threat of floods.
This year they have only had time to implement short-term projects such as dredging canals and installing hundreds of pumps. – Sapa-dpa