Thailand fears repeat of 2011 flood disaster

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Thai floods1Heavy rain in several provinces in central, eastern and lower northeastern Thailand since July 23 have caused flash floods that affected around 10,000 people, raising fears the bad weather could lead to a return of the 2011 flood disaster that cost the Thai economy more than $ 45 billion in economic damages and left some 800 people dead.

The National Disaster Warning Centre issued a warning for people in Nakhon Nayok, Trat, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Loei, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani that they should be prepared for rain storms, possible flash flooding and forest run-offs.

Floods as high as 50 centimeters have already disturbed business in the areas and also entered hospitals and shops, local media reported. Roads have been inundated and villagers have been left stranded in their homes.

Thailand’s rainy season runs six months of the year from May till October, but heavy rains only start in August when the northeast monsoon arrives. In 2011, flooding spread from the northern, northeastern and central provinces along the Mekong and Chao Phraya river basins. In October 2011, flood waters inundated parts of Bangkok.

The current flooding came a few weeks after a court in Thailand ruled the suspension of planned flood control projects worth around $11 billion pending a public hearing, causing delays to a scheme aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2011 floods.

The court said that the projects could “pose a high risk to the environment and to human health” and that the state had a responsibility to listen to public opinion before proceeding, ordering that an environmental impact assessment be conducted.

On June 18, the government selected four winners for the water management projects and other infrastructure work that are expected to drive the economy in the next few years, but the decision has been disputed.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Heavy rain in several provinces in central, eastern and lower northeastern Thailand since July 23 have caused flash floods that affected around 10,000 people, raising fears the bad weather could lead to a return of the 2011 flood disaster that cost the Thai economy more than $ 45 billion in economic damages and left some 800 people dead.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thai floods1Heavy rain in several provinces in central, eastern and lower northeastern Thailand since July 23 have caused flash floods that affected around 10,000 people, raising fears the bad weather could lead to a return of the 2011 flood disaster that cost the Thai economy more than $ 45 billion in economic damages and left some 800 people dead.

The National Disaster Warning Centre issued a warning for people in Nakhon Nayok, Trat, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Loei, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani that they should be prepared for rain storms, possible flash flooding and forest run-offs.

Floods as high as 50 centimeters have already disturbed business in the areas and also entered hospitals and shops, local media reported. Roads have been inundated and villagers have been left stranded in their homes.

Thailand’s rainy season runs six months of the year from May till October, but heavy rains only start in August when the northeast monsoon arrives. In 2011, flooding spread from the northern, northeastern and central provinces along the Mekong and Chao Phraya river basins. In October 2011, flood waters inundated parts of Bangkok.

The current flooding came a few weeks after a court in Thailand ruled the suspension of planned flood control projects worth around $11 billion pending a public hearing, causing delays to a scheme aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2011 floods.

The court said that the projects could “pose a high risk to the environment and to human health” and that the state had a responsibility to listen to public opinion before proceeding, ordering that an environmental impact assessment be conducted.

On June 18, the government selected four winners for the water management projects and other infrastructure work that are expected to drive the economy in the next few years, but the decision has been disputed.

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