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Historic Ayutthaya temple inundated, PM orders new measures

Waters of Thailands Chao Phraya River flooded into a historic temple in the former capital of Siam at around 6am this morning breaching a makeshift sandbag dyke, flooding the temple and its adjacent areas and forcing an urgent evacuation of villagers living near the temple.

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Waters of Thailands Chao Phraya River flooded into a historic temple in the former capital of Siam at around 6am this morning breaching a makeshift sandbag dyke, flooding the temple and its adjacent areas and forcing an urgent evacuation of villagers living near the temple.

Ayutthaya Governor Witthaya Pewpong and Fine Arts Office 3 Director Supoj Phrommanote inspected the scene but could not yet reclaim the historic site as the water is still high and strong currents are passing through.The governor said the authorities planned to build a temporary dyke along the Ban Pom-Klong Takiean Road and then pump water out of the temple and its grounds.

It was expected that by 6pm, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, one of the most imposing of Thailands historic Buddhist monasteries, would return to normal. However, he expressed worry over the continued rising of Chao Phraya River which is likely to worsen the threat to Thailands historic heartland.Some 400 households reportedly evacuated after floodwater poured into Wat Chaiwatthanaram at about dawn today.

Meanwhile, in Chiang Mais Hot district, flooding remains critical as some areas were under almost two metres of water while the roads linking districts were also flooded and inaccessible for vehicles.Hundreds of vehicles were stranded because of the floodwaters.

Even though the water level in Mae Chaem River was receding to almost one metre above normal, the flood has extended to affect wider areas and has reached Hang Dong district.The water level in some areas reached a depth of almost two metres, severely affecting local residents needing water and food.

via Historic Ayutthaya temple inundated; villagers evacuted.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today ordered establishing a committee representing each zone of flood-affected provinces to speed up draining water in five spots from the North through Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand.

The order came after two months of flooding has led to the deaths of 224 people and flooded 52 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.  Millions of people are affected.

The committee comprises government officials but local residents can also take part in deciding the management of sluice gates and draining water in their zones.

Inspectors of the PM’s Office and the permanent secretary’s office are responsible to co-chair the committee.

Ms Yingluck on Tuesday convened a meeting with the governors of Bangkok and surrounding provinces including Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and specialists on water management to find measures to facilitate northern run-off.

The government also asked for boat owners to volunteer their craft to help drain water into the sea with government sponsor the cost of fuel.

Preparing for the Friday-Sunday Oct 7-9 low tide, the drainage operation will start Wednesday readying for new waterflows likely to arrive with the new storms.

The prime minister discussed with operational centre personnel flood and landslide management in Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Loei, and Ayutthaya via video conference to follow up the floods, and the response measures of each province.

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