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Thailand Live Sunday 16 Oct 2011

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Thailand Live Sunday 16 October 2011

News, Bits and Tweets

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Keep up to date with live updates from the news, hour by hour.

For breaking news,national, regional and international news updates on a daily basis only, this thread is closed to commentary so that those who wish to follow the news can find it here...

Commentary is still open for Thailand news in the relevant thread posted in News Clippings.

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Related topic: Thailand Live Saturday 15 Oct 2011

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Minburi declared disaster area

Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has declared Minburi, eastern Bangkok, a disaster area. Minburi district chief reported 35 communities are being affected by the flood covering 4,636 households, 1,390 rai of farmland. /tv

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Floods partially hit Nonthaburi

BANGKOK, 16 October 2011 (NNT) – Waterfront areas in Nonthaburi have been hit by floods and efforts are being made to bar the flooding from invading the inner zone.

At the Nonthaburi pier, flood walls have been raised by one meter to prevent the business area from being swamped.

Flooding is heavy in Pak Kret district. In Bang Bua Thong district, three housing estates and communities near canals are reportedly facing inundation.

Nonthaburi governor Vichean Putiwinyu said officials were keeping a close watch on the flood barrier. The province has prepared 104 evacuation centers for the worst-case scenario.

In related news, Chaengwattana Administrative center will also serve as a evacuation center for affected people in Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya. The center can accommodate about 1,000 people.

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-- NNT 2011-10-16 footer_n.gif

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Nakhon Sawan to reopen Highway

Nakhon Sawan governor said that officials, municipality workers and the soldiers are trying to rebuild dykes so as to open up the Asia Highway again. If the work progresses as planned, it is expected that the Asia Highway flooded for a week now at several sections in Nakhon Sawan can be reopened for traffic on October 17-18.

The Chao Phraya river in Nakhon Sawan is stable while the water level in Ping river decreases slightly as well as the level in Bhumiphol dam. /tv

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Nakhon Pathom run-off is main threat to Bangkok: governor

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BANGKOK: -- A build-up of run-off water in Nakhon Pathom is the biggest flood threat currently facing Bangkok, Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday.

Large volumes of flood water surround Bangkok, with the most pressing concern being the Mahasawat Canal in the capital's Thawee Watthana district bordering Nakhon Pathom province, which is largely flooded, Sukhumbhand said.

There is a possibility that water from this area, which currently drains to the sea through the Tha Chin River, will overflow the existing barriers and enter the capital via the canal. Bangkok is at a lower elevation that the flooded areas near the canal.

The water level in the Mahasawat Canal was 1.91 metres above sea level and 89 centimetres lower than its dyke.

Sukhumbhand urged Bangkok residents not to worry, however.

After a meeting in the afternoon, Sukhumbhand said at a press conference that the flood barriers on the western side of Bangkok were not as strong as those to the north and east. Therefore, sandbag dykes would be reinforced and the situation would be closely monitored, the governor said. He surveyed the flood situation in eastern and western Bangkok from a helicopter yesterday.

The water level in the Chao Phraya River set a record for the year yesterday at 2.15 metres above sea level. At 9am at Pak Khlong Talad, the water level was 65 centimetres below the top of the dyke there, Sukhumbhand said. "We will continue to closely monitor water levels in Khlong Rangsit. [On Friday] I checked it and found the water level was not too close to the dyke level. On the western side, it would take too long to construct a dyke all the way along Putthamonthon Road, as it is too long. We have to monitor where the water is heading and where to build dykes," he said.

If Bangkok were to flood, residents would have at least seven hours to one day to prepare for evacuation, he said, adding that a water level of 2.3 metres above sea level would pose a threat to Bangkok residents outside the existing barrier line. The level was currently at 2.15 metres, he said.

Sukhumbhand said 17 districts of Bangkok have been declared emergency disaster-affected areas by the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. He added that these areas are not that badly flooded, however, and the disaster declaration is simply a legal necessity to enable more rapid assistance measures.

Royal Irrigation Department spokesman Boonsanong Suchartpong said the department was able to handle the flood water in Bangkok. Its drainage capacity was 138-140 million cubic metres a day. The situation was expected to improve in the next few days.

Due to heavy rain in Bangkok on Friday night, the water levels in major canals, including Lat Prao, Bang Sue and Nam Kaew, rose slightly. Water drainage was proceeding slowly in nine areas in Chatuchak, Lat Phrao and Din Daeng, he said.

The official said that drainage of trapped flood water in Lat Phrao to the Chao Phraya River and through the area's giant tunnel had begun at 2am yesterday and was likely to be completed in some places, including Chokechai 4, later yesterday, barring further rain during the day.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-16

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Choppers to drop supplies to hard-hit Ayutthaya

The Nation on Sunday

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Ten helicopters would be used to drop flood relief supplies in hard-hit Ayutthaya, the National Flood Relief Centre said yesterday. Two helicopters, each carrying 1,000 sets of supplies, will deliver the goods to one district.

In Uthai district, where 70,000 people were affected, the helicopters will land drop supplies at the Automotive Industry Technical College. For Sena district, where 42,000 residents were affected, the dropping points will be Jaojet Municipality Office, Wat Jorakhe Rai and Industrial and Community Education College.

For Bang Pahan district, with 41,000 victims, the dropping point is the Bang Prahan-Pathum Thani elevated road (Asia Highway); Maharat district, which has 23,000 victims, will have dropping points at Wat Jaeng and Wat Phoprasit. Phachee district, with 16,000 victims, with have Phachee Sunthorn Wittaya School as its dropping point.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-16

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Soldiers help repair Asia Highway

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Soldiers from Jiraprawat Boot Camp in Nakhon Sawan were working hard yesterday with heavy machinery to repair the Asia Highway - the main route to Bangkok - so it can be used again, after the highway was covered with a metre of water. They expected to finish repairs last night.

In Ayutthaya's Bang Pa-in district, the Asia Highway was impassable at the 5km marker in front of Hi-tech Industrial Estate because of high flood water. Previously, it was under water at the 25km marker. The elevated Phaholyothin Highway stretch from Bang Pa-in to Wang Noi district was also impassable due to flooding.

Motorists trying to travel to Suphan Buri faced inconvenience and had to exercise caution, as roads in Pathum Thani's Lat Bua Luang district were also submerged.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-16

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Help may be sought from UNESCO

The Nation on Sunday

Education Minister Worawat Auapinyakul may ask UNESCO at a meeting in France later this month to send volunteers to repair flood-damaged schools during the Christmas and New Year period.

Worawat told reporters after meeting with newly appointed German Ambassador Rolf Peter Gottfried Schulze yesterday that Germany, besides donating 100,000 euros (Bt4.2 million) to repair Ayutthaya's world heritage site and assist flood relief works, offered to host a project to get volunteers with technical skills to help with post-flood rehabilitation during the Christmas/New Year period.

The ministry thus would also invite other countries to join this project and so far Germany, France and Japan had expressed interest to join in.

The ministry would call for help at the UNESCO meeting in France, he said. Meanwhile, they would gather information about damaged schools so that volunteers - whose food costs and accommodation would be covered by the government throughout their seven- to 10-day stay - could be sent to lend a hand

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-- The Nation 2011-10-16

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516,000 treated by mobile teams

The Nation on Sunday

Mobile medical teams have treated more than half a million people affected by the floods. Most suffered from Hong Kong Foot, muscle pain, flu, skin diseases and headaches, the permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry said yesterday.

About 100 teams were dispatched to treat flood-affected people on a daily basis, he said. Out of the cumulative 516,748 patients treated, Phichit had the highest number with 112,524 patients, followed by 82,182 in Nonthaburi, 60,280 in Nakhon Sawan, 44,805 in Sing Buri and 27,753 in Nakhon Nayok.

In regard to mental health, officials visited 190 families of people killed in flood related accidents and assessed some 88,334 flood victims in 35 provinces. They found 4,723 people were under tremendous stress, 5,007 people developed depression, and 679 people were deemed a suicide risk, he said.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-16

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Seeking to delay barge parade

The Nation

The organising committee for the celebrations of His Majesty's 84th birthday will seek permission from HM's principal private secretary to postpone the Royal Barge Procession scheduled for October 22 to next year.

However, a Royal Krathin ritual at Wat Arun Rajwararam would go ahead as scheduled for that day.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-16

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