It was just past 9 at night when the protective embankment of the Tha Kor Phai community, located in the downtown district, suffered significant damage. This occurred shortly after the governor of Ubon Ratchathani departed from inspecting the site. This process of inspection was carried out due to the imminent rise of the Mool River and the potential danger it presented to the community.
Radarat Chadthaisong, a respected 50-year-old community official bore witness to the governor’s inspection. The sole purpose of his visit was to ascertain the readiness of the community to face the looming rise of the river. The situation, even though threatening, was not unexpected. The locals were aware and slightly prepared for the encroaching tug of nature.
The Mun River, a local water body, faced a similar fate. It too was unable to contain its might and ended up overflowing its boundaries, breaching the embankment in multiple areas. This wreaked havoc on the residents’ lives. Those who were privileged to live in two-storey houses had to hurriedly relocate their belongings to the upper level. However, others living in single-level houses had to be instantaneously shifted to safer shelters located at a higher altitude.
The local troops, civic officials, and some residents who happened to be in the vicinity made desperate attempts to strengthen the embankment by using sandbags. Nonetheless, the wrath of the juiced-up river was too potent. In spite of their efforts, portions of the embankment were again bulldozed by the river’s unstoppable rise.
As a result, authorities found themselves in a battle against time, hurriedly trying to rid the community of the floodwaters. Meanwhile, a team of official workers and volunteers worked tirelessly to mend the battered embankment. Their hope was to prevent further intrusion by the unwelcome waters.
This unfortunate turn of events was not new to Ubon Ratchathani. The region went through a similar experience last year which led to severe floods. However, officials provided some comfort in assuring that this year’s situation would not reach the harsh levels of the previous year’s chaos. Despite the assurances given, local residents were not taking any chances and were mentally prepared for the worst.