Northern Provinces Flooding Update: Ubon Ratchathani to Face Massive Water Flow


The worst flood to hit the province in a decade is inundating 15 out of the 25 districts of Ubon Ratchathani, as water levels in the Mun River are rising rapidly at an average of one centimetre per hour.

The river overflowed in areas throughout the watershed, including the provincial city. Water levels has been measured at 10.83 metres, or six centimetres higher than the record peak in 2002.

On Tuesday, governor Sarit Withoon declared 17 districts as disaster zones and allocated 200,000 baht to each district for immediate disaster recovery operations, while Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha also made a brief visit to the province on Monday.

Thaweesak Thanadecho, deputy chief of the Royal Irrigation Department said the flood is caused by downpours from the Podul and Kajiki storms that hit the region earlier this month. As the water from northern parts of the region would naturally flows into the Mekong River through Mun River, it accumulated and eventually spilled over.

Ubon Ratchathani’s disaster mitigation office reported that more than 33,606 households have been affected by the floods. A “war room” has also been set up to monitor water levels and coordinate rescue efforts.

Muang district of Ubon Ratchathani province faces major flooding on Friday as a massive quantity of water moving down the swollen Moon River reaches the municipality.

Warin Chamrap district, the next door neighbour divided from Muang district by the river, will also be hit by the overflowing river.

Ubon Ratchathani is one of five northeastern provinces battered by flooding caused by two recently departed storms, Podul and Kajiki, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported on Thursday.

The Provincial Irrigation Office on Thursday warned that a massive surge of water moving down the Moon River will reach the municipality by Friday. It is forecast to flood both Muang and Warin Chamrap districts through the weekend. Then the water level is expected to drop as the flood front flows into the Mekong River.

Workers are busy reinforcing sandbag walls to defend the compound from the rising water.  “We have contingency plans in case the hospital is flooded, although the hospital is one metre higher than   the road,” Dr Monchai Wiwattana Sitthipong, the hospital director, said.

People across the country have been tweeting friends and compatriots in Ubon Ratchathani with messages of support, with the situation being updated on the #saveubon hashtag  – which trended to top viewing on Thursday.