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Swamped villagers plead with Phetchaburi Dam to speed up water release

Sep 01. 2018
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By The Nation

With their houses and farmlands underwater for over a month, villagers in Phetchaburi’s Tha Yand district on Saturday pleaded with authorities to increase the speed of water release from Phetchaburi Dam.

Residents of Ban Nong Chum Saeng in Tambon Tha Mai Ruak said their village has now been under floodwaters for one month and four days. The water was about 2.5 metres deep and all roads are inundated.

The village is on the Phetchaburi River downstream from the Kaeng Krachan Dam but upstream from the Phetchaburi Dam.

Upstream Kaeng Krachan Dam has released more water than the operators of downstream Phetchaburi Dam are willing to let through in order to minimise the impact on downtown Phetchaburi. The result was waters backing up and inundating villages in the area between the two dams and putting about 245 rai (39 hectares) of farmland underwater.

The water behind the Phetchaburi Dam is being released too slowly, the villagers say.

Jiranan Inprasert said residents of his village are having difficulty moving around as they must use boats.

As of 6am on Saturday, the Kan Krachan Dam contained 755 million cubic metres of water or about 106.34 per cent of its capacity. The dam was releasing water at the rate of 15.0489 million cubic metres per day.

The Phetchaburi Dam was releasing water to the Phetchaburi River at the rate of 11.0942 million cubic metres per day and to irrigation canals at the rate of 6.128 million cubic metres per second.

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