Matt Pratten

Matt Pratten

Associate Analyst

15/08/2017

15/08/2017

Post Incident Report: Flooding Continues Across Thailand

Date of Report: Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Incident Date/Time: 13-15 August 2017

Executive Summary
The flooding situation has reduced somewhat in the North-East with 8 provinces continuing to experience floods as opposed to 11 in previous weeks. Flood conditions in Bangkok and Phuket have affected traffic flow but do not appear to have stopped it completely.
Incident Details
(Click on above image to expand)
Over the course of 13-15 August 2017, heavy rainfall across Thailand has exacerbated flooding in the North and North-Eastern parts of the country while causing floods in Bangkok and Phuket. Available reports indicated the rain would last up until the 18 August 2017 (McCabe and Harrington, 2017). Specific details of each area marked on the imagery above are:
13 August 2017 - Floods continue in 8 provinces across North-East Thailand: Flooding remains in eight provinces in Thailand, affecting 1.8 million people and damaging 3.9 million rai (1541937.58 acres) of farmland. Rain-related flooding existed in the seven north-eastern provinces of Kalasin, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Ubon Ratchathani and Yasothon. These areas are marked in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1. Areas of continued flooding in North-East Thailand
The other province was Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya in the Central Plain, which absorbed huge discharges of water from the Chao Phraya dam in Chai Nat province.
COMMENT. These areas have been experiencing flood conditions since 11 July 2017 for Phra Nakhon SI Ayutthaya and 24 July 2017 for the North-Eastern parts of Thailand. These areas have been experiencing these problems due to heavy rainfall from seasonal weather, weather conditions such as Tropical Depression SONCA, increased and more rapid water discharges from dams in both these areas to avoid overfilling and damage as well as major river systems – such as the Mekong River serving as the Thai/Laos border – breaking their banks and inundating these provinces. These conditions led to 11 provinces in the North East being declared disaster areas due to not just the damage but also a number of deaths caused. (Pratten, 2017c, Pratten, 2017d, Pratten, 2017b). COMMENT ENDS.
14 August - 2017 Breach of flood barrier doubles, increases flooding in Pho Prathap Chang district, Phichit: A five-metre-long breach of a flood barrier in Tambon Wangchik of Pho Prathap Chang district expanded into a 10-metre gap – pictured in the map at the beginning – sending floodwater into eight villages downstream as well as a vast area of farmland. 15 August 2017 – Flooding in Bangkok and Phuket: According to the Thai Meteorological Department, more than 85mm of rainfall fell on Phuket Town in nine hours, from 4am through to 1pm. Mitigation efforts by the Phuket Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation focussed on removing garbage and debris clogging Bang Yai Canal. The water level in the canal was dangerously close to causing the canal breaching its banks. Across the island, the rainfall caused a number of areas to be flooded, affecting traffic – pictured in the map above. Incident reporting on the Intelligence Fusion platform also recorded social media video footage of traffic and road conditions in Bangkok ( https://www.facebook.com/ThaiVisaNews/videos/10156530212668012/ ). In both cases, the flooding had not affected the ability for vehicles to move through the area but it had forced vehicles to slow down.
COMMENT. Based on previous reporting, flooding has been an ongoing hazard in Thailand. In heavily populated areas like Bangkok and Phuket, it is exacerbated by entrenched behaviours of dumping rubbish in waterways (Pratten, 2017a). COMMENT ENDS.
Assessment
The flooding situation has reduced somewhat in the North-East with 8 provinces continuing to experience floods as opposed to 11 in previous weeks. Flood conditions in Bangkok and Phuket have affected traffic flow but do not appear to have stopped it completely. While these areas have an issue with garbage blocking up the canals, it is POSSIBLE that as the rain ceases as predicted, these canals will remove the water from the streets – albeit slower than what they would be capable of.
Given the length of time these conditions have been present in Thailand, it is PROBABLE that while the rainfall has been predicted to cease on or around the 18 August 2017, it is POSSIBLE this will not be the case up in the North and North-East due to seasonal conditions for Thailand at this time of the year.
Even if the rain does cease, the inundation that has occurred in the North, North-East and down to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya will PROBABLY continue from rivers overflowing and dams having to continue to discharge water. These conditions will affect access throughout these areas due to roads being cut off by flooding or in the case of elevated areas, create the risk of landslides.
References 
MCCABE, M. & HARRINGTON, D. 2017. Intelligence Fusion Platform [Online]. London: Ambix. Available: https://www.intelligencefusion.co.uk/ [Accessed 12 August 2017].
PRATTEN, M. 2017a. Weekly Intelligence Report: Monitoring in Thailand - 04 July 2017. Thailand [Online], 04 July 2017. Available: https://www.intelligencefusion.co.uk/single-post/2017/07/03/Weekly-Intelligence-Report-Monitoring-in-Thailand [Accessed 08 July 2017].
PRATTEN, M. 2017b. Weekly Intelligence Report: Monitoring in Thailand - 07 August 2017. Thailand [Online], 07 August 2017. Available: https://www.intelligencefusion.co.uk/single-post/2017/08/06/Weekly-Intelligence-Report-Monitoring-in-Thailand [Accessed 07 August 2017].
PRATTEN, M. 2017c. Weekly Intelligence Report: Monitoring in Thailand - 16 July 2017. Intelligence Fusion [Online]. Available: https://www.intelligencefusion.co.uk/single-post/2017/07/16/Weekly-Intelligence-Report-Monitoring-in-Thailand [Accessed 20 July 2017].
PRATTEN, M. 2017d. Weekly Intelligence Report: Monitoring in Thailand - 24 July 2017. Thailand [Online], 24 July 2017. Available: https://www.intelligencefusion.co.uk/single-post/2017/07/24/Weekly-Intelligence-Report-Monitoring-in-Thailand [Accessed 24 July 2017]. 
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