By Prasit Tangprasert
With a maximum sustained wind speed of 55 km/hr, the category 2 tropical depression is travelling toward Hainan and gaining strength as becomes a category 3 tropical storm while moving west and causing heavy downpours.
The heavy downpours have affected many Thai provinces, including Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Uttaradit, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Phetchabun, Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Yasothon, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.
While the previous storm “Podul” and this upcoming tropical depression were expected to reduce the drought in much of the Northeast, more water is still required for Nakhon Ratchasima.
A combined 3.74 million cubic metres of rainwater poured into four major dams and 23 reservoirs on Sunday, bumping up the volume of stored water to 328 million cubic metres, approximately 27 per cent of capacity. However, only 266 million cubic metres of that water that could be used. The four dams and 23 reservoirs in the region –with a total capacity of 1,216 million cubic metres – could hold nearly 1,000 million cubic metres more water.
The Nakhon Ratchasima situation remains critical despite the fresh rain, with Lam Takhong Dam now at 46.28 per cent of capacity or 145 million cubic metres, of which 122 million cubic metres are usable. Lam Phra Ploeng Dam is at 11.23 per cent of capacity or 17 million cubic metres, of which 16 million cubic metres are usable, while Mul Bon Dam has reached 23.87 per cent of capacity or 33 million cubic metres of water, of which 26 million cubic metres are usable. Lam Sae Dam is at 21.83 per cent of capacity or 60 million cubic metres, of which 53 million cubic metres are usable. The province’s 23 reservoirs combined are now at 21.71 per cent of capacity, or 71 million cubic metres, of which 46 million cubic metres are usable.