Thailand’s central region has a 70% chance of experiencing flooding over the next two months, with Ayutthaya province expected to be hardest hit because of its limited water retention area in the Chao Phraya River basin, predicted Dr. Seri Suprathit, director of Rangsit University, Climate Change and Disaster Centre.
During a TV talk show on Tuesday night, Dr. Seri forecast that Thailand will experience heavy rain until October, which will cause flooding in the central, eastern and southern regions, especially on the central plains, which will have a 70% chance of being inundated. Bangkok and neighbouring province of Pathum Thani, however, will be spared.
He said that the floods this year will not be as bad as the catastrophic flooding of 2011, because excess water had been released through major dams in the North, worsening flooding from heavy rains in the central region.
Most reservoirs in the North still have a lot of spare capacity to hold rainwater, because only 5 or 6 storms have hit Thailand, compared to an average of 20 each year, he explained.
He also predicted that about 40% of the land mass in Bangkok will be under water in the next 30 years, due to the combination of rising sea levels, as a result of global warming, and land subsidence.
He noted that, during high tides of an average of 1.5 metres, several areas in Samut Prakan province, such as Bangpu and Poochao Samingprai and certain sections of Sukhumvit Road get flooded. If the high tide is 2.5 metres, the sea water will destroy the environment and threaten the underground train system, if there is no mitigation system in place.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)