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20 Thailand Dams Ready to Overflow, Forcing More Flood-Causing Water Discharges

The Pasak Jolasid Dam in the Central Plains is in danger of overflowing.
The Pasak Jolasid Dam in the Central Plains is in danger of overflowing.

Twenty Thailand dams are near the point of overflowing, necessitating a mass discharge of water downstream that will cause more flooding, cave-ins and other disasters.

The Office of the National Water Resources told the Royal Irrigation Department that it must start discharging even more water from dams in all four of Thailand’s regions, as dams are in danger of overflowing uncontrolled, creating major impacts on communities and farmland.

According to the OWNR, the dams at the critical point are:

  • North – The Mae Mok, Kwae Noi BumrungDaen and Thap Salao.
  • Northeast – Ubol Ratana, Chulabhorn, Lam Takong, Lam Phra Phloeng, Lam Mun Bon, Lam Sae, Lam Nang Rong and Sirindhorn.
  • Central Plains – Pasak Jolasid and Kra Siew.
  • East – Khun Dan Prakan Chon and Naruebodindrachinda dams and the Nong Pla Lai reservoir.
  • West – Srinagarind, Vajiralongkorn, Kaeng Krachan and Pran Buri.

Discharge mismanagement by Pasak Jolasid dam officials already has caused significant damage in Saraburi where houses along the Pasak River and a century-old Yang Na tree collapsed into the water after the river level dropped suddenly.

One homeowner alleged that if excess water had been discharged properly, the riverbank would not have caved in. After all, she’s seen this before. Her home fell in the river a decade ago, during the disastrous 2011 floods.

Marine Department Deputy Director-General Sompong Jirasirilert inspected the damage and warned that more cave-ins are expected. The best thing riverside residents can do is leave the area and hope for the best.

One lucky break, however, came as the Thai Meteorological Department predicted less rain in northern Issan as tropical depression Kompasu weakened into a low-pressure cell over northern Vietnam.

But the southern end of the Northeast, as well as the Central, East and South still face heavy to very heavy rainfall because of the monsoon trough.