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Call for better drainage as flooding threatens Bangkok

October 20, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Heavy rain is slamming into Bangkok and experts say that until the city launches major works to improve its drainage system and canal network, it will remain at risk of severe flooding after big storms.

The warning was issued by a group of academics on water management, disaster prevention and city planning. It comes the Thai Meteorological Department forecasts continuing heavy downpours as a monsoon trough heads over Thailand.

Addressing a public seminar at Chulalongkorn University, the experts described Bangkok’s drainage system as old, poorly maintained and unable to function adequately, according to a report in Bangkok’s The Nation English-language newspaper.

The deficiencies increase the risk of Bangkok being flooded.

Recent flooding in Bangkok

Bangkok is unprepared to cope with a storm, Thailand Global Warming Academy director Thanawat Charupongsakul told the seminar. He said widespread flooding in 55 areas of the city last Saturday showed Thailand’s capital could not withstand even part of the deluge. It took a day for the floodwater to drain.

“It is not frequent for Bangkok to be directly hit by tropical storm, but the city is situated on the storm route and was hit directly several times in the past, such as in 1952 and 1983,” Thanawat said.

Rainfall over a six-hour period on Saturday night exceeded 214 millimetres, braking 10-year record, he added.

Written by Peter Needham

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