With even more rain expected to soak Bangkok this week, city authorities yesterday urged residents to consider working from home for the next few days to avoid difficulty commuting.
Deputy Gov. Tavida Kamolvej expressed concern about heavy downpours forecast to hit the city today through Friday and therefore encouraged people to work remotely. Those who need to work on site were advised to leave their workplaces earlier than usual.
Tavida said City Hall is closely monitoring water levels in the Chao Phraya River, which is expected to rise around 1.70 meters to 2 meters above sea level. Rainfall over most of the metropolitan area and highs of 30C to 31C are forecast for the next week before the rain eases slightly mid-month.
The authorities have piled sandbags to deter flooding in vulnerable areas such as Bang Khen, Lak Si, and Don Mueang.
Bangkok’s unusually wet year and chronic flooding have posed the first major test of newly elected governor Chadchart Sittipunt, who has admitted that he and his team were inadequately prepared to resolve the city’s flooding problems. Apart from severe climate change, Chadchart said that his administration has struggled with a lack of personnel and tools to deal with the situation.
Heavy rain and flash floods late Monday afternoon turned several parts of Bangkok into swamps and paralyzed traffic across town, leaving motorists stranded for hours. The Monday evening rush hours saw overcrowding and significant waits at skytrain stations such as BTS Asok and BTS Mo Chit.
Meanwhile, several national parks have been temporarily shut in recent days due to flash floods. They include the Ob Khan National Park in Chiang Mai and Khuean Srinagarindra National Park in Kanchanaburi.
On Wednesday morning, Varawut Silpa-archa, minister of natural resources and the environment, instructed park chiefs to closely monitor flooding at forest parks and national parks. They may consider closing to protect visitors.
Tourists are also strongly encouraged to check information about weather and their destinations before visiting.