Anti-flood measures may submerge Thai provinces
Flood-prevention measures in Thailand might lead to the submerging of several provinces in the central part of the country during monsoons this year, experts have warned.
Research has shown that while dykes and embankments, built after last year's devastating floods, may save regions such as Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi from the effects of the floods, heritage cities like Ayutthaya will be under more than 3 meters of water, they warned.
The findings were presented by consulting firm Team Group at the Knowing and Fighting Against Flooding seminar here on Friday.
The group's managing director, Chawalit Chantararat, said a team of experts had used a model based on last year's volume of water in order to make this prediction, The Nation newspaper reported.
Unusually heavy monsoon rains caused a deluge that swept across much of central and northern Thailand for months in the middle of last year, leaving more than 600 people dead and damaging millions of homes and livelihoods.
The floods, which cost more than US$5 billion in estimated damage, were a huge wake-up call for the authorities to finally make long overdue investments in the capital's drainage system.
Preventive measures in place since will only divert floodwaters to other areas, experts said, even though the amount of rainfall this monsoon may be the same or less than last year, the Xinhua news agency reported. (mtq)