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Chiang Mai Floods Again
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  1. #1
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    Chiang Mai Floods Again

    Floods inundate Chiang Mai homes

    CHIANG MAI, July 31 (TNA) - Incessant rains have triggered a flood inundating hundreds of dwellings in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

    Run-off from Doi Suthep, the mountain that overlooks the former northern capital, caused flooding some 30-50 centimetres deep in Mae Rim district, forcing villagers to move their belongings to higher ground.

    Floodwater in some areas in the provincial seat is as high as 60 centimetres, causing traffic jams near Chiang Mai Rajabhat University.

    The Meteorological Department issued a flash flood warning effective July 31 through August 2 in at-risk areas in the north and the northeast. The department forecast heavy rain due to a low pressure ridge over the north and the upper part of the northeast.

    The southwestern monsoon covers the Andaman sea, the Gulf of Thailand, and the southern region. Waves up to three-metres high are expected in the Andaman Sea and the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand. (TNA)

    Bangkok Post

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    Well I sure hope it don't last long, I have to be there the 15th for my visa renewal, and it was so flooded last year that we went to MAKRO, CARREFOUR, IMMIGRATION and came home.
    Missed a lot of shopping that we also go there for, I have had no new books for 2 years now, the ones I have, I have had for 2 years and the ones that I bought before that I sold to an Icelander as he had nothing to read and wanted to buy all of em.

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    anything can happen until the 15th.... now the river is about 4 to 6 feet below the level of Changklan road (the night bazaar area - there are several schools as well in this district), but it is not raining at the moment.
    do you know the two second-hand bookshops near Thapae Gate? (outside the moat, in the first soi to the left on Thapae Road.) they are great.
    Last edited by Betti; 31-07-06 at 09:38 PM.

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    I think so, is it GECKO book store and then I go to the corner, turn right again traffic and just a short ways there is a good shop, then thru the gate,turn left for a couple of streets and then right to a good shop owned by an AA member, and just up a little ways farther and across the street is I think the name is Ban Rai? steak house where you get a whole beef fillet charbroiled for 200 baht.
    Well thanks for the help.

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    Locals say development, night safari is blocking run-off from Doi Suthep

    Flash-flooding hit several parts of this northern province yesterday morning, prompting many people to point the finger at the Chiang Mai Night Safari and other new developments.

    "We never suffered floods until late last year," said councillor Prasit Karbkham of the Nong Khwai tambon administrative organisation yesterday. He was adamant tree clearing in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park to make way for the night safari was the cause.

    The night safari officially opened earlier this year.

    "We are now increasingly worried that severe flooding may occur because the night safari is reportedly preparing to build an elephant park," he said.

    Another resident was afraid the changing environment would bring fatal floods and landslides like those that struck Uttaradit in May.

    Homes in the tambon of Nong Khwai in Chiang Mai's Hang Dong district were yesterday under more than 80 centimetres of water.

    Flooding reached many parts of Chiang Mai city. Residents queued up for sandbags at the Chiang Mai Municipality. Tourists were stranded in hotels in Sri Ping Muang.

    Sandbags formed a temporary barrier for rising flood waters, which were approaching a metre in the worst-hit spots.

    "This is run-off water from the mountain. It's not like last year when the overflowing Ping River sent floods to town," Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said.

    Hotel operators and Chiang Mai Night Bazaar merchants were keeping an anxious eye on the situation. Last year, flooding ravaged the bazaar and other commercial areas causing hundreds of millions of baht in damage.

    Chaiyaphan Praphasawat, director of the Chiang Mai-based Community Rights Institute, blamed the night safari, new housing estates and roads, as well as the Chiang Mai University Mae Hia agricultural research centre and an international horticulture exposition for the environment changes around Doi Suthep.

    "They have changed the water flow," he said. Chaiyaphan was one of the leaders behind the anti-night safari movement.

    He complained that poor city planning had left Chiang Mai at the mercy of floods.

    He warned that two villages in the tambon of Nong Khwai were at risk of landslides now that more trees were being uprooted for the development of the night safari's new elephant park.

    Safari executive Uppatham Pawaputanont argued heavy rain was the cause, not the wildlife park.

    "We don't have any buildings obstructing water down off Doi Suthep," he said.

    Surachai Tuamsomboon heads the Suthep-Pui National Park. He jumped to the defence of the night safari and insisted heavy rain since early July meant the land could no longer absorb it.

    "That's why there is flooding," Surachai said.

    Downpours continued in many parts of Chiang Mai yesterday. By 3am, flood waters had risen two metres in the Mae Hia Tunnel. Several vehicles were stranded but there were no injuries.

    "We have closed the tunnel. It will reopen only after we pump out all the water," local traffic police chief Major Chatchai Chuthai said.

    Flooding and landslides paralysed traffic and a Mai Malai-Pa Pae highway was temporarily impassable to larger vehicles.

    The Mae Rim River broke its banks and flooded more than 1,000 homes.

    The weather bureau yesterday forecast more rain for Chiang Mai. It also warned residents of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Phayao and Nan to prepare for flash-floods and landslides.

    In Lampang, torrential rain brought floods that damaged hundreds of homes in Mae Mo, Hang Chat and Koh Kha districts.

    Resident Jantip Lhasanlue was reported missing after a flash-flood swept through her home.

  6. #6
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    Can't help wandering about Maureen and family who are due to visit CM this month.
    ( http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10423 )

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    it is sunny and dry today. properties along Changklan are sandbagged and the water is creeping in from the south, in the morning it was near Chiangmai Land Road, but it was expected to rise rapidly. my school was closed for today. the Old City is fine, streets are dry and you would never guess there is a flood not far from here. colleagues and students living in Mae Rim, Hangdong and Samoeng said some of their homes were flooded at the weekend as they are every year.

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    News looks bad for CM tonite, but they always tell the worst, But I have sometime yet to decide wheather to go to BKK and kiss some butt or come to CM for my visa.
    The officer I see in BKK goes completely off on her own when handing out a LTvisa, Strays a long ways from what is printed in the immigration laws,,Have to have a new letter from my embassy every year to verify my lifetime pension at about $50 a pop for notary fees. Not only guarenteed income per month , but also a bank acct, and she always tells me to go put more in it and come back next week. When the rules clearly state "65,000 baht per month income" OR "A Thai bank account with 800,000 deposited". She requires BOTH. You never know what to expect, only that she will change the rules. So if I go there I will have to plan 2 trips instead of one.

    Well Betti, You are on the ground there so I would appreciate it if you would keep me up to speed on what to expect as I have already made reservations for a Van and driver for the trip, no longer will I fight the Thai for my share of the roadways.

  9. #9
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    NORTHERN WEATHER
    Unprecedented floods devastate Chiang Mai

    Roads, rail lines cut, leaving tourism in tatters and many businesses in despair for the second year in a row

    Chiang Mai is reeling under unprecedented flooding with businesses suffering huge losses, the tourism industry in tatters, schools being closed and train services being suspended.

    Since floods hit the northern capital early on Monday, hotels and tour companies have received massive cancellations from tourists concerned about their safety and disruptions to their tour programmes.

    Kunchit Changsuwan, chairman of the tourism business federation, said riverside hotels had been badly hurt while many shops were now closed for fear of a repeat of last year's devastating flooding.

    He said tourists could only get to Chiang Mai by plane and certain buses as some roads and the train service have been cut.

    Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat said the floodwaters should drop by tomorrow as a result of drainage efforts by the local authorities. He said flood water had not inundated financial districts in urban areas like Chang Khlan Road and the Nite Bazaar shopping complex.

    The affected areas are mostly residential located in outer districts.

    The governor said drainage efforts needed to be stepped up as weather authorities had reported Storm Phra Phirun was expected to reach Thailand by Friday.

    Last night, the State Railway Authority had cancelled all trains between Chiang Mai and Bangkok because flooding had damaged a portion of track in Lampang. A senior railway official said it would take about three days before services resume.

    Sangworn Santisuk, president of the Thai Hotels Association's northern region, said of the 10,000 hotel rooms in the city, about 400 are near the river.

    "Right now we are enjoying an occupancy rate of 50 per cent, but that could drop. We will have to closely monitor the situation," he said.

    On Monday, tourists were stranded at their hotels in Chiang Mai township because of the inundation.

    Rising floodwaters forced many schools in Chiang Mai to close yesterday and students in several dormitories were advised to return home.

    Nittaya Bodhirak, the dormitory guardian at Sacred Heart School, said: "We are concerned about the children's well-being if the flooding gets worse. So, we have contacted parents to pick up their children."

    She advised students to follow radio news reports to keep updated on when classes would resume.

    Sacred Heart, on Charoen-prathet Road, was flooded along with Chairot Witthaya and Regina Coeli schools, plus Montfort College. All suspended classes for at least a day.

    At the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, business operators filled sandbags as a barrier to block the floods.

    Last year, big floods ravaged the city's commercial and tourist zone, causing damage worth hundreds of millions of baht.

    Yesterday's floods came after the Ping River overflowed due to heavy downpours and run-off water from upstream. Despite last year's devastating floods and a government promise to prevent future inundations, Chiang Mai residents have been again left to fight floods with just sandbags and pumps.

    Even residents living a fair distance from the Ping River suffered, as many roads such as Huay Kaew, Khuang Singh intersection and several small lanes were under water due to poor drainage.

    The flooding also threatened many historical sites.

    Sahawat Naennha, who heads a local fine-arts office, voiced concern over the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam, which lies in a flat area that could easily flood. "We have pumps ready but if there is too much water, this measure will not be enough," he said.

    Sahawat was also concerned about the Phra That Chao Kulamak in the 1,300-year-old Rommanee-yaram Temple in Chiang Mai city.

    "There are cracks in it and we are worried that heavy rain could damage it," Sahawat said. He said his office was in the process of requesting funds to renovate and reinforce this religious site.

    Meanwhile, in Mae Rim district, more than 1,800 houses were flooded and officials were handing out relief items to victims.

    Officials at the Hydrology and Water Management Centre for the Upper Northern Region said the situation in Chiang Mai could return to normal if there were no more downpours.

    The northern weather bureau expects only scattered rain in Chiang Mai over the next two days. However, it warned that cloudbursts would spread over the upper North on Friday and Saturday.

    Residents living by the Ping and other rivers in Chiang Mai, Lamphun and Phetchabun were warned to watch out for possible overflows this weekend.

    In a related development, Mae Hong Son governor Direk Konkleeb urgently instructed all district chiefs in the province to prepare for possible flash floods and landslides. "We have evacuation plan ready," he said.

    In Lampang, the body of a flood victim was discovered yesterday. The woman, aged 50, disappeared when floods raged through her home early on Monday.

    In Uttaradit, more than 50 families in Tambon Nang Phraya were evacuated on Monday night after a landslide and floods damaged local farms.

    The Nation

  10. #10
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    I just read about this link which tracks the level and flow rate of the Ping River by the hour. The most current data (as of 21:00 Tuesday local time) show that the river level is at 4.20 meters at Nawarat Bridge. Bank overflow begins at 3.70 meters, so that means the water level was exactly one-half meter over the top of the bank at that time.

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