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Thailand on High Alert: Unpredictable Weather Crisis to Hit 16 Provinces! Is a National Disaster Brewing?

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Distinguished members of Thailand’s National Water Command Centre (NWCC) have issued cautionary advisories, whether severe-to-extreme rainfall levels are in the forecast for 16 specific provinces. This news is rather unexpected, as current measures show that the water levels around the vast expanses of the Chao Phraya River are dropping, all thanks to the somewhat splendid El Nino weather conditions. Deputy of the NWCC and the esteemed Secretary-General of the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), the honourable Surasri Kidtimonton, echoed serious apprehensions about the anticipated rain showers.

The showers are reportedly expected to profoundly affect various regions in the country, ranging from the north to the northeast, as well as the east and western regions of the tropical south. Surasri Kidtimonton indicated that there’s an imminent concern looming over to the next part of the week. The severe warnings have specifically targeted 16 provinces including, but not limited to, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Nan, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Sakhon Nakhon, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Satun and Trang.

Surasri Kidtimonton highlighted, “A slew of concerning reports are coming in from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, indicating that landslides have been observed in many regions of Phangnga. The issue extends up to the Muang Phangnga-Kapong road in Tambon Tung Kha Ngok”. In response to these unexpected emergencies, local administrations have been eagerly at work, collaborating on countermeasures to restore the affected areas to a functional state, particularly concentrating on road clearance operations.

The NWCC has observed that the anomaly of El Nino seems to influence the rainfall in the Chao Phraya River basin onwards to an ebb, in contrast with the surging water levels observed in the Mekong River, likely attributed to consistent rainfall events. The estimable Surasri drew attention to the decreased water found in the four major dams in the Chao Phraya basin, including Bhumibol in Tak, Sirikit in Uttaradit, Kwai Noi Bamrung Daen in Phitsanulok and Pasak Jolasid in Lop Buri. Collectively, a measly 2.97 billion cubic meters of water was found in these dams, as reported by the Bangkok Post.

The latest data released by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand exhibits worrisome water levels at the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams, with readings presenting a disappointing 42.6% and 45.3% respectively. Hoping to control the situation more effectively, the NWCC gave their advice to the local rice farmers, suggesting them to limit their crops to just one yield this year.

A stern reminder from Surasri followed, warning of the probable water inadequacies that would surely affect second crop rotations, hence asking for their careful consideration in farming activities.

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