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Submerged Splendour: Rising Chao Phraya Waters Engulf Historic Ayutthaya – An Unstoppable Deluge Threatens to Rewrite History!

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The Chao Phraya Dam continues to release water at an unrelenting pace, leading to extensive floods in the historical city of Ayutthaya. As the dam releases water at a formidable flow rate of 1,800 cubic metres every second, day after day, the repercussion is a rising water level in the river that meanders through this once capital city of Siam. With tributaries equally filling up, there seems to be no break in the high tide of this calamity.

Imagine the serene old town of Ayutthaya, teeming with architectural splendours and brick ruins, now submerged in water. The locales surrounding Wat Ko Phai in the Bang Luang Dod sub-district of the Bang Ban district along with the neighbouring communities are among the hardest hit. The expansive canal of Bang Luang, known to be a lifeline for the locals is now overflowing causing the water level in the vicinity to rise drastically, almost 10 to 15 centimetres on a daily basis. As a result, domestic households, historic temples, community schools, and healthcare establishments find themselves inundated and vulnerable.

According to the Thailand Meteorological Department, more rain is on the forecast with particular focus from October 20 to October 22. Six provinces including Kalasin and Ubon Ratchathani are already witnessing severe flooding, while rescue operations for the affected people are in full force. Meanwhile, across Thailand, weather continues to play spoilsport with rain-laden clouds hovering above 38 provinces that are under high alert for heavy rainfall.

In these trying times, it is the ground floor of riverside dwellings that bear the brunt along the banks of the surging Chao Phraya River and its tributaries. The Ayutthaya Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office has reported that immediate relief measures are in place as water from the dam is causing unanticipated flooding across nine districts, 70 sub-districts, and is impacting nearly 11,950 households. The areas primarily affected are Sena, Bang Ban, Phak Hai, Bang Sai, Maha Rat, and Bang Pa-in districts of the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province.

The detrimental effects of these floods are also being felt deeply by the farming community, who are staring at damaging consequences. Five sub-districts and 13 villages have already seen an impact on their agricultural lands affecting nearly 56 farmers. Furthermore, an approximate loss of 53.525 hectares of agricultural land is feared, which includes 17.375 hectares of vegetable and farm crops and 36.15 hectares of fruit and perennial trees. Educational institutions in the area are also suffering, thus confirming that the Ayutthaya floodings spare no one, as per the KhaoSod report.

The city of Ayutthaya, adorned with temples of great historical and cultural significance is now battling the enormity of these floods. One can only empathize with the resilience of the locals, and hope for their quick and safe recovery.

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