Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Floods in central Thailand

I went into Nakon Sawan city yesterday. It's the biggest place of note in the area and it watches over the Chao Praya river as it flows south to Bangkok where it spills into the Gulf of Thailand.    Rivers bring many good things to an area. But apart from the obvious benefits they also bring the threat of flooding when not properly managed.  Most rivers are almost impossible to tame and the Chao Praya is no exception. At this time of year mother nature reminds everyone that she is still in charge as the water rises to bank- breaking levels.
The local authorities in Nakon Sawan have dumped thousands of tons of ballast along the most vulnerable sections of waterfront. The second line of defence is a wall of sandbags. The third line, and this is what i witnessed first hand yesterday, is hundreds of people armed with buckets and basins. I edged forward to see that the water had seeped through the ballast but was held at bay (for the time being) by the sandbags. Ripples licked at the top of the ramparts and from time to time splashed over onto the defenders feet. I had seen enough. I wished some of the people "good luck" and made my way back to the truck that was parked close by. Some of them gave me a forced smile through tight lips but most of them had a look of resignation to their impending fate.
On the 45 minute drive back to Takhli, i noticed that most low lying areas had already succumbed to localized flooding.

not recommended
In several places, just the apex and a foot or so of roof gave a clue to the presence of the dwelling beneath. Several pumps were optimistically pumping water back into ditches whose sides had already been breached. But all efforts seem to be futile in the face of such a powerful and unforgiving adversary.

certainly not recommended
 Today, my thoughts are with the people who will have to put their homes and lives back together after the inevitable. Most of them on an annual basis.

1 comment:

  1. OMG...nice to know you're still out there floating around, pardon the pun. The floods seem to be wide spread and doing a lot of damage. Our hearts go out to those effected.

    We planned on going to Sukhothai one month ago, but I don't think its going to happen before we head back to Oz, in one month.


    We've been lucky in Chiang Mai city so far, it's been raining, but not continually, giving the water a chance to drain away.