Motorbikes fell like dominoes and cars went submersible in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang area following yesterday’s heavy rainfall.
What looked like beachfront storm surge in footage posted last night of motorbikes and cars nearly swept away by waves was actually a flood-prone Bangkok road. The waves were created by the wake created by a vehicle driving through a flooded Soi Rama IX 7.
Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang said the reason the soi was so severely flooded was because it sits at the bottom of a basin and built-up trash results in blockage on the private road, which is not connected to the city’s extensive drainage system. He said two water pumping units were dispatched to clear the street.
กทม มีผู้ว่าอยู่ป่าวนะ งง หากุญแจไม่เจออีกมั้ง🙄🙄🙄น้ำรอการระบายอย่าเรียกท่วม pic.twitter.com/oA2vJMDXm4
— หลวงพี่เอกวัดตะลุยทุ่ง🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭 (@MANU00706213103) September 23, 2020
However, as cyclical as the floods and official promises of action came public frustration, with some calling Aswin out for not doing more during his four years since he was appointed by the junta to replace an elected governor.
“Does Bangkok still have a governor? I’m confused. Could he not find the key again?” read one retweet of the video riffing on the time in 2018 Aswin blamed hours of flooding on a missing pump key.
“Don’t call it flood, just ‘water waiting to drain,’” the tweet continued, recalling the infamous excuse of his predecessor, disgraced Gov. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, who in 2016 came up with that novel description.
Nicharat Kidyao, a resident at the nearby Lumpini Place Rama 9 condo, said her initial response was “shit” when she saw the clip at work. She said although the area is prone to flooding, she’s never seen it this pad in the past three years.
“Usually it’s ankle-deep, but this was about waist-deep,” she said.
Aswin said upward of 30 millimeters of rain fell in a 15-minute period in the area.
Though the road is private, she said the government should do a better job protecting it from floods because it’s used to commute and avoid traffic on Rama IX Road.
“Not to deal with it properly will not only worsen the already-bad flood, but the already-heavy traffic of Rama IX Road,” Nicharat said.