Dam cuts discharge rate to ease flooding in Khon Kaen

The Ubon Ratana dam releases water downstream in Khon Kaen. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered officials to lower water discharges to ease flooding in the norteastern province.

KHON KAEN: The amount of water being discharged from Ubon Ratana dam is being reduced, to ease the flood situation downstream, at the behest of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The discharge rate at the dam was being lowered on Wednesday from 38 million cubic metres per day to 30 million cu/m.

During his visit to flood-stricken Khon Kaen on Tuesday, Gen Prayut ordered a provincial flood management panel to reduce rate of discharge.

Gen Prayut inspected the area after more than 5,000 rai of rice paddy fields in Muang district were inundated.

Communities downstream were ravaged after a huge volume of runoff surged into the dam reservoir from the North, forcing the management to release more water. The Phong River burst its banks and flooded several communities in Nam Phong and Muang districts.

As the discharge rate is reduced, the river level is expected to fall.

Strong currents on Wednesday breached a canal levee, causing a 30-metre long hole, at Ban Kuipho in tambon Bungniam in Muang district, flooding areas behind the embankment. Irrigation officials quickly repaired it, but the area remained flooded.

At least 30 water pumps installed at the Huai Phra Kue sluice gate in tambon Phra Lab in Muang district were working round the clock, helping drain floodwater in central Khon Kaen into the Chi River.

Thongpleaw Kongchan, deputy director-general of the irrigation department, said the situation in flooded communities behind the canal levee should return to normal within 14 days.

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