BANGKOK, 4 May 2012 – The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department (DDPM) has today declared 50 provinces throughout the country drought disaster zones.
The DDPM designated 50 provinces, covering 497 districts and 3,417 tambons on the drought watch list, which included Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Sukhothai, Nan, Phitsanulok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Kalasin, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chonburi, Phuket and Trat, among other provinces.
The Meteorological Department announced that a low pressure cell covering northern Thailand and the southwesterly winds prevailing over the country will result in heat waves, scattered thunder showers and gusty winds. The South of Thailand will experience isolated rainfall with heavy downpours in some areas. The southwesterly winds are expected to gain strength during May 5-9, bringing heavier rains and cooler temperatures.
Meanwhile, the 8th Royal Irrigation Office in Nakhon Ratchasima issued a statement saying that four major dams in the province currently contain less water than their official capacity.
The office’s director, M.L. Anumat Thongthaem noted that water storage levels at the 4 dams were 50% lower than their capacity. This is in line with the government policy implemented since January 2012 to gradually release water from dams and make rooms for the anticipated amount of rainfall this rainy season. The measure is to prevent repetition of last year’s flood crisis.
M.L. Anumat assured that farmland within the irrigated zone would not suffer water shortages during the drought season. Currently, the office is closely monitoring the water levels in the dams on a 24-hour basis.
(NNT : Orapa Chueyprasit)