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Businesses are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst as rains continue to batter large parts of the country. Fears are growing that if floods in the northeast spread to Bangkok and the industrial areas of Thailand there could be a huge economic price to pay.
Prolonged heavy rain causes havoc with non flood areas that are seeing large scale flooding including the Nakhon Sawan province where the mountain run off has triggered heavy floods in the last couple of weeks.
The locals are doing their best to cope with the watery disaster and it is still unknown if the floods in that province will spread to other areas as well. Rice farmers face huge concerns as the floods have destroyed many rice fields prior to the harvesting season. Many are working hard to stave off the floods in preparation for harvest next month.
Rice farmer Pongsakorn Yardina said “The rice cannot be harvested yet, rice ears are only just begging to emerge and the crop is not ready yet, if this area is destroyed then two hundred rai of land will be damaged and this kind of damage could cost me up to two million baht. I will have to put a rubber sheet over the dyke to prevent the flood water on the road from going into the rice field.”
The locals are worried that there will be a repeat of the 2011 floods that affected large parts of the Choa Phraya basin,that includes Bangkok, for months on end.
Officials have said that the water levels at the Chao Phraya dam, the main water gateway between the mountainous north and the low lying areas of the central plain have yet to reach alarming levels and said that there are other causes for this year’s flooding.
Director of the Royal Irrigation Department at Nakhon Sawan, Visarn Vasuntharaporn, said “The current large volume of water came from the substantial amount of rain that fell below the northern dams; the water level is now low compared to the level in 2011. Affected areas are mainly low-lying areas along river banks, which is a usual occurrence each year. Each area needs to manage the volume of water that correlates with the crop growing timetable.”
The industrial parks that were affected so badly in 2011 have now erected barriers to ensure their factories stay dry.