Tropical Depression ‘Mun’ a Welcome Shower After Drought: Expert, Farmers

Thanom Phromsri, in black, points to her dried-up rice fields in Nakhon Ratchasima on July 3, 2019.
Thanom Phromsri, in black, points to her dried-up rice fields in Nakhon Ratchasima on July 3, 2019.

BANGKOK — The state weather department has officially warned that a tropical depression in China will affect Thailand – but there’s no cause for alarm, a weather expert says.

The Thai Meteorological Department released a notice today advising that Tropical Depression Mun will hit dozens of provinces with “heavy winds and rain” Wednesday through Thursday. But a weather expert insists ordinary people shouldn’t worry too much about the depression.

“There probably won’t be a large amount of rain. In fact, it’s a boon for us, since we have had a very dry May and June. So hopefully this rain can help refill our reservoirs,” Seree Supratid, director of the Climate Change and Disaster Center at Rangsit University, said by phone Wednesday.

Seree expects rain to be concentrated in Isaan and the North, such as in Nakhon Phanom and Nong Khai.

Tuesday through Wednesday in Bangkok, expect typical July rain to cover 60 percent of the city, with lows of 24C and highs of 33C. Northern and central provinces should see similar coverage, with an 80 percent chance of showers in Isaan.

Farmer Thanom Phromsri, 63, from Phimai district in Nakhon Ratchasima, was one of those happy to see rain Wednesday. She said her 11 rai (1.76 hectares) of rice fields had withered from the drought over the past months.

“This was one of the most heavy droughts I’ve ever seen. I used to collect water along the canals but they were all dried up,” she said.

The Thai Meteorological Department’s weather notice, reshared by Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang, lists a long list of provinces expected to be affected by the tropical depression.

Mun formed in the South China Sea on Monday before making landfall in Hainan Tuesday. Its peak winds measure at 65km per hour, or an 8 out of 12 on the Beaufort wind scale. At that level, winds are strong enough to break twigs off trees. Mun is predicted directly hit southern China and Northern Vietnam.

Seree said that state weather services were outdated during Bangkok’s October 2017 flash flood and failed to prepare people for natural disaster, since they only posted meteorological data online without offering practical advice.


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