Bangkok not closing canal: Governor

BANGKOK •The governor of Bangkok, Mr Aswin Kwanmuang, has dismissed concerns that a key canal that runs through the centre of town would be closed to allow the discharge of rainwater from a dam.

He said yesterday that only a few major streets remained flooded after the huge rainfall last Friday, and urged the public to stick to news on official websites and other reliable sources.

The spread on social media about the so-called imminent closure of the Saen Saep canal had caused alarm.

But the reports were traced to old news items from 2011 when the Thai capital was inundated by massive floods, said chief government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

He said the government will take legal action against those who mislead the public.

Bangkok was hit by heavy downpours from late Friday evening to the early hours of Saturday, with the public alerted by social media postings that water in the upstream Bhumibol Dam was going to be released into Bangkok via the Saen Saep canal.

Mr Aswin said the city's administration was working closely with the Department of Irrigation to manage the overall floodwater situation, and that the key canal would not be shut down as rumoured.

Meanwhile, landslides and flooding caused by torrential rain this week in next-door Vietnam's northern and central regions have killed 60 people and left 37 missing.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2017, with the headline 'Bangkok not closing canal: Governor'. Print Edition | Subscribe