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Brace Yourself for the Deluge: Thailand Pleads for International Cooperation as Devastating Flood Threat Looms, is the Nation Prepared for the Worst?

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The esteemed Office of National Water Resources (ONWR), in a state of pressing urgency, has issued a notification to the Secretariat of the Mekong River Commission (MRCS), earnestly asking the countries bordering the Lower Mekong River Basin and China to judiciously control their water discharge levels. The primary objective is to counteract burgeoning flood situations with effective preventative measures. This significant request stems from the office of Surasri Kidtimonton, the respected secretary-general of ONWR, and the deputy director of the crucial National Water Command Centre (NWCC).

Mr. Surasri Kidtimonton drew attention yesterday to the inundating rainfalls that have been persistently battering the lower basin. These relentless showers have instigated devastating flash floods in the Bolikhamxay province, located in Laos. A potent low-pressure trough that spans southern China and extends up to northern Vietnam has been identified as the instigator of these heavy downpours. These downpours have primarily targeted the North and Northeast regions of Thailand, and based on current weather patterns, water levels in the Mekong River are anticipated to surge from Thursday to Tuesday, informed Mr. Kidtimonton.

Stepping into action, the NWCC swiftly issued notifications to residents in eight provinces along the course of the Mekong River, advising them to brace themselves against any potential flash flood incidents. In the following actions, ONWR communicated with the MRCS via an official letter, containing vital information on the evolving water situations. This was oriented towards member nations such as Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, entrusting them with the mission to nip potential emergencies in the bud that might arise due to floods.

As Mr. Surasri further elaborated, ONWR is in active communication with both Laos and China, beseeching them to take precautionary steps in controlling the dam discharge rates along the course of the Mekong River, all in order to prevent future catastrophic flood events. Reports from water monitoring stations stationed along the course of the river in various provinces – Chiang Rai, Loei, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Amnat Charoen and Ubon Ratchathani – confirm that the current water levels are manageable and well within control.

Keeping vigilance as their guiding star, officials from ONWR Region 3 have been mobilized to closely scrutinize the evolving water situation. Additionally, they have been instructed to coordinate with local agencies for extending much-needed assistance to people residing along the major waterway, especially during emergencies.

According to weather forecasts, Thailand is geared up to endure torrential rainfall that could span from today to Friday. The critical consequence of this rainfall could be the tragic possibility of landslides and flash floods dominating the scenario over 16 provinces, informed Mr. Kidtimonton. Even as of Thursday, the regions of Trat, Mukdahan, Trang, Kanchanaburi, Nan and Lop Buri were hit by heavy downpours. Additionally, expectations of flash floods and mudslides loom over Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Nan, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Satun and Trang from today till Friday.

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