The central province of Thailand finds itself in a precarious situation as water levels rise in the Chao Phraya and Noi rivers, along with the region’s canals. The reason for this phenomenon isn’t far to seek – the Chao Phraya Dam has been discharging water at a rate of an incredibly high 1,800 cubic meters per second.
From the reports of Ayutthaya’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office on Monday, things seem grim. The flooding has now reached as many as nine different areas including Sena, Bang Ban, Phak Hai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Bang Sai, Bang Saai, Bang Pahan, Maha Rat, and Bang Pa-in. The increase of water levels in these areas hasn’t just posed risks to living but also caused difficulties for commuting.
A worrisome aspect of this development is the submergence of Wat Ko Phai and the hospital situated in the Bang Luang Dod subdistrict. These are not normal times when the submerged water slowly recedes after causing damage. The floodwater level is rising at an staggering 10-15 centimeters per day, making these vital buildings unusable and posing serious risks to health and life.
What’s more alarming is the impact this disaster is having on farmland in the area. The office’s estimates clarify the extent of the damage that these floods have wreaked on farmlands with a staggering 53.52 rai (equivalent to approximately 8.6 hectares) of farmland getting damaged. This includes the ruin of 17.37 rai of crops – a significant blow to local farming communities who depend on this land for their livelihoods, thereby having a ripple effect on the province’s economy.
One cannot help but be concerned about the ongoing situation in the central province. As water continues to rise at an incredible velocity, the scale of disaster also multiplies. A comprehensive plan will need to be implemented to both address the immediate aftermath of this situation and to also mitigate similar disasters in the future. Especially as our climate continues to change, it’s essential to harness the power of emerging technologies and modern urban planning to become more robust against such challenges.
These pressing issues reflect the pressing need for authorities to implement forward-thinking strategies which include infrastructure planning, better dam management, and recovery protocols. Only then can the province hope to better cope with such environmental crises in the future. Ultimately, it is a testament to our times – a wake-up call that underscores the urgency of sustainability and adaptability in our communities in the face of unpredictable weather patterns.