The twin rivers of Chao Phraya and Noi, along with the canals scattered throughout the central province, have seen a dramatic surge in their water levels. This is the perhaps the turbulent offspring of the relentless water discharge from the Chao Phraya Dam, a silent monolith that is currently releasing water at the astounding rate of 1,800 cubic metres per second.
From the detailed notes of Ayutthaya’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, it’s clear that Monday was not kind to most parts of the province. In its concrete and insightful report, the office conveyed that floodwaters have slowly but surely invaded the humble homes of nine districts. These districts include – Sena, a place fondly known as the green city, the agricultural heartland of Bang Ban, the tranquil Phak Hai, the rich history-laden landscape of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, the industrious Bang Sai, the riverside picnicking spot of Bang Saai, the peaceful Bang Pahan, the vibrant Maha Rat and the royal land of Bang Pa-in.
It seems the rising tides have not shown mercy regardless of place or function. For instance, the ancient Wat Ko Phai and the lifeline of Bang Luang Dod subdistrict – its hospital, have both been swallowed by the rapacious floodwaters. Additionally, the situation seems to be escalating, with floodwater levels growing day by day, an average of 10-15 centimeters daily to be precise. A gloomy picture, it’s clear to see, of an unyielding, watery advance.
The havoc unleashed by the floods is not only confined to urban areas. Interestingly, rural expanses are also suffering. Taking a look at the bigger picture, the office estimates that the floods have blighted a massive 53.52 rai – which comes to roughly 8.6 hectares – of the precious farmland. This includes an overwhelming 17.37 rai of valuable crops, once ripe and ready but now under the cruel grip of the flood waters. It’s a dire sight indeed, with the heartland of the province slowly being drowned in a sea of relentless water.
To sum it up, the province is grappling with an increasing water threat. One that comes without warning and leaves a trail of destruction – a situation that dramatically underscores the capricious power of water.