Southern region to face year-end flooding; upper regions facing drought

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BANGKOK (NNT) - The Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) has warned southern provinces to brace themselves for flooding before the year ends, while upper regions of Thailand will be face drought, with dams now holding less water than at this time last year.

The ONWR Secretary General Somkiat Prajamwong has revealed the outcomes of the National Water Command’s meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, saying that the northern region is likley to face a drought disaster, as the region has seen more precipitation in areas below the dams, meaning that portion of rainwater was lost.

The ONWR has at this time ordered the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Groundwater Resources to survey possible sites to construct groundwater wells to help mitigate the expected drought crisis.

Some upper northeastern provinces are now sharing the same prospect, with reservoirs such as the ones at Nam Un Dam in Sakon Nakhon, Huai Luang Dam in Udon Thani, and Lam Pao Dam in Kalasin, now holding less than 50 percent of their water capacity.

In Khon Kaen however, water levels in reservoirs there are higher than before, much the same as other provinces in the lower northeastern region and the central region. Given this situattion, the ONWR is expecting the upcoming drought not to last long.

In the southern region, the ONWR has warned southern provinces to prepare for floods starting at the end of November, and continuing until the end of December, after expected heavy rains.

The office has ordered local agencies to prepare their staff and equipment, and to stay on alert in order to mitigate damage faced by the general public.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has now urged all agencies to accelerate their plans to cope with drought, especially in the upper northern region, the upper northeastern region, and the central region, in an effort to limit the severity of the disaster.