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Danger Signals Rising! Thailand on High Alert for Flash Floods – The Ominous Monsoon Threatening to Unleash Havoc!

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The Thailand-based entity Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) has yet again flagged an alert for the citizens, calling attention to potential flash floods and forest runoff in the southern regions of the country. This directive has stemmed from the anticipation of escalated rainfall as a northeastern monsoon is set to inhibit the Gulf of Thailand and southern parts of the territory.

ONWR’s Deputy Secretary-General, Samroeng Sangphuwong, revealed this advisory. Marking its fifth issuance for the current year, the warning spans across five days – from November 25th to 30th. The notice brings to light the threat of sudden floods and forest runoff, particularly in distinctive districts within the provinces of Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat.

In addition to this, ONWR has recommended the continuous monitoring of intermediate and mini reservoirs, particularly those with water levels spiking to over 80%. These waterbodies are distributed within the confines of Surat Thani, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces. At really high risk are reservoirs which are gushing with water flow exceeding their capacity to store, which could inevitably lead to downstream flooding, especially in the proximity of the Bang Lang Dam located within the Yala province.

ONWR’s caution note further extends to the probability of a sudden elevation in water levels and overflowing of major rivers and their tributaries. Notable of these waterbodies are the Chao Phraya, Lam, Tha Nae, Sai Buri, Pattani, Bang Nara, Golok rivers and also, the Tan Yong Mas Canal.

Actions suggested by ONWR in readiness for this occurrence include onward monitoring of the weather and water situations by the relevant bodies. Areas where rainfall has accumulated in excess of 90 millimetres within the span of a single day or known to be flood hotspots, deserve special emphasis and monitoring. Alongside, there’s a call to harmonise water management methods across varying sizes of water storage areas, inclusive of waterways, sluice gates, and floodgates aligned from upstream to downstream. This should take into account the projected tidal movements. Ensuring swift drainage and apt planning for reservoirs to accommodate heavy rainfall is deemed ace, as per reports from KhaoSod.

In conclusion, ONWR has recommended that a systematic plan of action be drawn up to tackle varying water situations. This involves mobilising staff, machinery and tools, disseminating information on water situations and also broadcasting early warnings to those individuals who stand a higher chance of being affected. Such timely alerts will enable the locals to initiate necessary evacuation measures, should the situation worsen, thereby assuring instant aid.

Such vigilant and concerted approach by ONWR is not only a testament of their preparedness but also serves as a reminder that small preventive measures can help avert major disasters.

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