Saturday, 27 May 2017

THAILAND: Tourists Injured, Driver's Looses Arm , Bangkok Faces Floods

A taxi driver’s arm was severed in a high-speed crash early this morning after he lost control of his vehicle in a curve, crashed into an electric pole and fell into a five-meter-deep ditch at roadside.

We received reports of an accident near Phuket International Airport at about 7am. At the scene, we found a heavily damaged black Toyota Fortuner taxi stuck in the ditch. The driver, Thawin Chaiponrit, 23, had lost his left arm and was bleeding profusely, said Lt Thanakan Uchanarasamee of Sakoo Police.

Thawin was driving two Iraqi tourists to the airport when the accident occurred.

Rescue workers tried their best to stop Thawin’s flow of blood. One of the tourists suffered serious injuries to his shoulder, arm and hand, while the other sustained only minor cuts and bruises. All three were taken to Thalang Hospital, said Lt Thanakan.

The road is very dangerous and we believe the driver was not familiar with it. However, we will question everyone to confirm what happened before taking further action, he added.

Meanwhile,BMA officials admit they cannot cope with heavy rains as experts blame infrastructure and lack of preparedness.

BANGKOK will continue to experience flooding after heavy rains unless water-drainage problems including roads and canals are solved, water-management experts have said.

Heavy rain was to blame for yesterday’s floods in 25 areas around Bangkok after up to 170 millimetres of rain fell on the capital on Wednesday night, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) stated.

Bangkok faced the prospect of more flooding as the Meteorological Department predicted more heavy rains last night and this morning.

The heavy rains turned many streets of the city into canals and seriously worsened rush-hour traffic, causing many commuters to arrive late at work or school.

One of the worst flooded areas was the Lat Phrao intersection at Ratchadaphisek Road, where the floodwaters reached about 30 centimetres and seriously disrupted traffic.

BMA drainage and sewerage director Sompong Wiangkaew said the heavy rains were more than the city’s drainage system could cope with.

We are trying our best to save our city from flooding, but the rain was far too heavy for our drainage system, which can accept around 100 to 120 millimetres. Last night, total rainfall was about 170 millimetres, Sompong said.

Moreover, we could not drain the floodwater out of the street properly, because the canals were already full of water from the rains, even though we had decreased the water levels in the canals in advance.

Sitang Pilailar, a lecturer at the Water Resources Engineering Department at Kasetsart University, said the reasons the BMA cited were chronic problems for the city.

Bangkok will still flood every time after heavy rain, if the water cannot drain from the roads to the drainage pipes and to the canals properly, Sitang said.

She said the first problem was that the drainage system mixed with the sewer system, so pipes were already full of wastewater. Moreover, during the floods in 2011, sand was dumped into the drainage system that had not been cleared out completely, lessening the capacity of the city’s drainage pipes by half.

Another problem was lack of preparation before the rain, Sitang said, adding the BMA usually received weather predictions from the Meteorological Department so water levels in the canals could be lowered in advance, but this time the BMA had not performed well.

In addition to these problems, we still have the issue that many old communities suffer from chronic flooding because their location is lower than street level, so the water from the road drains into their communities instead of into the drainage pipes.

The garbage in the drainage system is also significant, as many people still throw litter into drainage pipes and canals, Sitang said.

This is a task for all of us to tackle. The BMA has to be better prepared for flooding and maintain the drainage system to make sure that it can work properly, while the people also have to avoid clogging the drainage system with garbage if we want to sustainably solve the flooding problem in Bangkok.

Heavy rain and strong winds caused a large tree to fall over and damage houses in Chalong this week, causing about 100,000 baht worth of damage.

“The incident occurred at Soi Bangre, Moo 1 at about 2pm on Wednesday. A fallen tree, about 70cm in diameter, wrecked the wall of a guesthouse and damaged another house and a car parked nearby,” said Supawatakan Kunlak of Chalong Municipality.

A staff member at the guesthouse told police that no one was injured.

Municipality workers spent an hour clearing up the clutter. The owner of the guesthouse and the tree said that he would 'partially' compensate the others whose property was damaged.

Officials warned the public to 'be careful' during the monsoon season.

The rainy season has arrived, so please be extra cautious when the weather is rough. If you see any trees that look dangerously unstable, please inform the local authorities.

If possible, do not park your car underneath or near such trees in order to avoid similar incidents in the future,said Supawatakan sagely.