Major floods still a risk as 15 storms likely before year-end

There is high risk of major floods this year as 15 more storms are expected to hit Thailand by the end of the year, a flood expert said.

The Nation

The Nation



August 19, 2022

BANGKOK – In a Facebook post on Thursday, Seri Suparatit, a flood expert from Rangsit University, said that there are three factors that might cause a big flood:

1. Accumulated rainfall is higher than normal before the rainy season.

2. The La Niña phenomenon at the end of the year will be strong and will cause water temperature in the western Pacific Ocean to be higher than in the east, leading to high humidity.

3. The Indian Ocean dipole is negative which will cause the temperature in the eastern Indian Ocean to be higher than in the west, causing high humidity.

Seri explained that the estimated rainfall from August to November will be higher than normal including last year. If the amount of rainfall is 18 per cent higher than normal, there would be a great risk of flooding similar to 2011.

Thailand suffered one of its worst floods ever in that year.

However, the flood pattern will not be the same.

He explained that if there are heavy rains above dams, big dams in the Northern region would have around 50 per cent of capacity.

But if it is rains below dam levels, floods will occur in fields in the Central region before moving to cities.

He added that the middle and southern Northeast, the East, and the upper South also face a risk of major floods.

Seri added that there are five uncontrollable factors:

  • The amount, direction, and severity of storms; he expected another 15 storms in the rest of 2022 of the 23 total storms expected this year.
  • The capacity of water basins is reducing as a result the water level will rise; he cited as an example water in the Central region last year was 20 per cent less than in 2011 while the water level is equal to or higher.
  • The preparation and understanding of people in the risky areas
  • The conflict of the citizen sector in risky areas
  • The management of the situation; he said that related organisations should monitor the situation closely and warn people in time to reduce the impact.

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