Flooding swamps central Chiang Mai Water approaching disastrous 2011 levels

flooding swamps central chiang mai  water approaching disastrous 2011 levels

The Ping River overflows into Muang district of Chiang Mai on Monday morning, with the level approaching that recorded during the severe flooding of 2011. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)

CHIANG MAI: Flooding expanded in the heart of Chiang Mai as the overflowing Ping River continued to rise amid persistent rain on Monday.

About 1,000 households in Muang district were inundated after the Ping River burst its banks on Sunday night. The flood continued on Monday morning. Nearby residents were being advised to move their belongings to high ground.

Although sandbags were stacked up along the banks of the Ping River, water sprang up from sewers in the municipal area of Muang district.

The level of the Ping River at Nawarat Bridge was 4.52 metres, which was 0.82 metres above its safe level. The river in this section was rising.

The situation was approaching the severe flooding of 2011, when the level of the Ping River neared 5  metres. Local officials expected a similar situation because water from tributaries upstream continued to flow into the Ping River.

The river receives water from the Mae Taeng River and the Mae Rim River.

The water was up to a metre deep in some areas of Muang district and residents were evacuated. Several schools and government offices were closed on Monday due to flooding. They were largely on Chang Khlan and Charoen Prathet roads, but also in Pa Phrao Nok and Nong Hoi areas.

Elsewhere in the province, steady rain continued in Chiang Dao, Mae Taeng, Mae Rim, Mae Ai, Fang, San Sai and Doi Saket districts – all upstream of Muang district.