Why Has the Thai Flood Lasted So Long?

NASA Photo Comparing Thai Floods of 2008 and 2011
NASA Image comparing the flood zones of Oct. 25, 2011 (top) and Nov. 11, 2008 (bottom). Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River are marked to the south.

Why Has the Thai Flood Lasted So Long?
Yomiuri Shimbun: タイ大洪水、なぜ長期化?
Mashi Arai reporting from Bangkok October 27, 2011

The submerged land area in Thailand is still expanding, and the flooding is becoming a long term problem, because the amount of rain is unprecedented and the affected area has gentle terrain.

According to the Thai Weather Bureau, this year’s rainy season (May to October) there was 50% more precipitation than usual in the area of the Chao Phraya River, which connects the north and south of the country. It was the most rain in 60 years.

According to Mr. Akira Terakawa’s analysis of the river environment for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, the industrial parks which host several Japanese businesses in the Ayutthaya Region and surrounding environs, now in the center of the flood zone, were designed to handle one big rainfall every ten years; this year’s mass precipitation was unexpected.

As opposed to Japan, whose steep terrain causes water to flow away quickly, Thailand has gentle terrain and slow-flowing rivers.

This weekend, a high tide is expected in the Gulf of Thailand, which will make it more difficult for river water to approach the sea.

If floodwater were to breach Bangkok for the first time, it would arrive in a calm flow, not a quick push.

Once the water arrived, however, removing it would take time. Rangsit University Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Seri Supharatid predicts that “if there were full-scale flooding in Bangkok, it would take more than a month to remove the water.”









(2011年10月27日09時58分 読売新聞)

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