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Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra concedes Thailand may face severe floods

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BANGKOK, 11 February 2012 (NNT) – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has conceded Thai people may have to face a new round of floods this year but confirmed the government would try its best to handle the problem.

In her Saturday talk show, PM Yingluck has admitted that severe flooding may recur and participation from all related bodies is crucial to ease the situation.

As part of the flood-prevention plan, the government has prepared two million rai of vacant land as the water retention zone. At the same time, it will help locals in flood-prone areas to adapt themselves to a new lifestyle, for example, by introducing them to jobs in water-related fields.

To boost the capacity of the water release, state officials will survey flood-prone areas to designate locations for water diversion, and check dam construction. Reforestation will also be the government’s priority as there is now more than 10 million rai of deteriorated forest out of the existing 20 million rai of forest areas.

As for the dam management this year, water release has already begun to prevent the comeback of severe flooding. PM Yingluck also apologized to people in Sena District in Ayutthaya Province for failing to inform them of floods in time.

Yingluck is scheduled to visit the flood-hit provinces during February 13-17 to plan a further assistance package other than the THB 5,000 compensation and the debt suspension and restructuring schemes undertaken by the Government Savings Bank, the Government Housing Bank, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the SME Bank.

Read more: NNT

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