Weather forecasters and disaster relief officials said Ayutthaya is not the only place threatened by flooding as rain generated by a tropical depresssion continues to fall across most of the Northeast and parts of the Central region.
Other provinces which could be hit hard by flooding are Phichit and Phitsanulok, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday, citing reports from the Office of the Water Management and Flood Management Policy. Some areas in the three provinces were already flooded.
Provincial governors in these three provinces in particular were ordered to closely follow the situation, although many dams could still handle more rainfall, she said. The water management office would coordinate with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to drain water out to the Gulf of Thailand, to avoid flooding the city.
The army has put 150 companies of soldiers across the country on standby to help provincial officials as needed, army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said.
In Ayutthaya, the municipality called an urgent meeting on Thursday to assess the situation after Bang Ban district to the north was flooded. Ayutthaya island, an area of 18 square kilometres surrounded by the Chao Phraya, Pa Sak and Lop Buri rivers, was at risk, although water had so far not overflowed the river banks, municipal chief Somsong Sappakosolkul said.
Barriers were being erected in areas where water could break into the island, he said.
Pathum Thani governor Siripol Hantrakul said officials were ready to cope with floods after rain in the province over the past three days. Water was being drained from canals to the Chao Phraya river and all damaged water gates were being repaired, he added.
The Meteorological Department on Thursday warned of continuing rain, possibly heavy rain, in 14 provinces, 10 of them in the Northeast, until Saturday. They are Mukdahan, Amnat Chareon, Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon, Roi Et, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Buri Ram, Maha Sarakham and Nakhon Ratchasima in the northeastern region. Others in the eastern and central region are Sa Kaeo, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat.
Steady rain was reported late Thursday to have been falling almost non-stop in the lower Northeast since about midnight.
Bangkok could expect ‘’heavy to very heavy rain’’ from Friday into the weekend, weather forecasters said.