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Bangkok’s Governor Alerts Residents to Unforeseen Threat: 30% Surge in Sea-Level! Will the Chao Phraya River Swallow the City?

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Today, Chadchart Sittipunt, the Governor of Bangkok, sounded the alarm for communities residing near the Chao Phraya River. He warned of an imminent threat due to elevated water levels caused by a predicted storm surge, estimated to peak around 7 pm. At a briefing held at Bangkok City Hall, the 57-year-old city commander explained an unexpected rise in the volume of seawater, substantially exceeding earlier predictions, which led to a surge of sea levels by a significant 30% on October 28.

The daunting surge in sea levels triggered the Chao Phraya River to rise, breaching its banks and slightly overflowing into adjacent areas, most notably the riverside district of Dusit. Chadchart elaborated on how this unexpected increase in seawater could catch communities located along the Bangkok riverbank and at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River in Samut Prakan province off-guard—making constant vigilance imperative.

Elucidating upon the potential causes, Chadchart pointed towards the southeast winds in the Andaman Sea that were pushing water towards the inland, resulting in what’s known as a storm surge. A phenomenon caused by a tropical cyclone with wind speeds reaching or exceeding 100 kilometres per hour, a storm surge leads to a swift rise in sea levels that consequently pushes a large influx of water into the Chao Phraya River. This often results in the river overflowing its banks and inundating urban areas.

The Governor further highlighted that specific periods should be closely monitored—early morning to mid-morning and around 7 pm—as water levels could peak during these times. His advice to residents living along the riverbanks is to stay vigilant and alert. He explained that while majority of the regions are secured by protective dikes along the river, there are certain breach points that remain vulnerable to flooding. Residents of these areas have been advised to prepare by arranging additional sandbags.

Although, Chadchart mentioned certain communities might be under threat—primarily in the Dusit district—he assured that the current situation does not warrant any panic, as per latest monitoring results. While the Chao Phraya River may present an appearance of a high tide, that’s all there is to it. On a side note, he specified that the northern waters are maintaining a volume of 1,000 cubic metres per second, while the critical limit stands at approximately 2,500 cubic metres per second, as reported by KhaoSod.

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