Ayutthaya braces for northern run-off

Authorities in the Central province of Ayutthaya are working against time to reinforce a flood prevention wall by the Chao Phraya River, expecting a large quantity of northern run-off to arrive by Thursday evening (Oct 12).

Soldiers from a Saraburi-based disaster relief company have been deployed to reinforce the flood prevention wall with sandbags, with the aim to increase the height of the wall to 2 metres.

The northern run-off is expected to arrive in the province by Thursday evening due to the Royal Irrigation Department is releasing water through the river at the rate of 2,600 cubic metres per second.

The river running past the Ayutthaya Municipality or Koh Muang is rising quickly, overflowing into low-lying areas.

The water level at Wat Kakatrathirat Worawiharn is about 50 centimetres from the river bank.

For today (Oct 12), the municipality aimed to reinforce the flood prevention wall with sandbags to be about 1 metre higher for a distance of one kilometre to cope with the northern run-off.

Surin Phadungphian, deputy mayor of the Ayutthaya Municipality, said he believed Ko Muang area would not be flooded.

Four spots most prone to flooding in Ayutthaya are Wat Kasatrathirat Worawiharn, Wat Na Phra Mane, Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Pom Phet.

Somkiat Prajamwong, director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department, said Nakhon Sawan province is expected to take 2,700-2,800 cubic metres of water from the Ping river.  The water will be diverted into the irrigation systems on both sides of the river above the Chao Phraya Dam with water pumps and propulsion machines.

The Chao Phraya Dam will release 2,600 cubic metres of water per second.  As a result, the water level in the Chao Phraya River and its tributaries in Chai Nai, Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Ayutthaya will be 50-80 centimetres higher for about one week, he said.