Thursday, January 26, 2012

Even worse Thai flood crisis this year unless government is decisive

Asia One: Water experts yesterday urged the government to be decisive about flood-prevention measures in order to prevent a repeat of last year's severe flooding, as the La Nina phenomenon is expected to bring early rains and more storms this year. They expressed concern that a lack of clear decisions from the government would leave the flood-prevention efforts in disarray.

Seree Supharatid, director of Rangsit University's Centre on Climate Change and Disaster, warned that due to the La Nina climatic phenomenon, early rainfalls were expected between March and May, which would force dams to release water from their reservoirs. He said major dams such as Bhumibol and Sirikit were holding water at 90 per cent of their capacity.

Although there would be fewer rains between September and November, storms were likely towards the latter part of the year, given the statistics over the past five decades. "There will also be many storms this year," Seree said.

"If this year's water volume is as much as last year's, I believe floods will be inevitable. We cannot implement flood-prevention measures in the short term. The negotiation over floodways has hit snags," he said, referring to opposition to a plan to designate certain farming areas as floodways....

In October, 2011, volunteers and members of the Royal Thai Army, military police, fill and place sandbags to redirect flooding in the northern Sai Mai district.U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Robert J. Maurer

No comments: