BANGKOK — Social media is awash with criticism against junta-appointed Governor Aswin Kwanmuang for his failure to warn residents in the capital about the flood that struck many riverside communities on Monday.
The river overflowed in areas in Bangkok and the neighbouring province Samut Prakan throughout yesterday, causing traffic gridlock and flooding many homes. Officials blame the phenomenon on unusually high tides in the Gulf of Thailand. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration did not issue any warning about the flood beforehand.
Speaking to reporters during his inspection of a flooded community in Samphanthawong district, Gov. Aswin apologized for the lack of communication.
“We apologize to the people who were affected,” Aswin said, adding that he had instructed the officials to assist the public and build barricades for any further flooding.
However, deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan insisted the authorities had already issued a warning. “We already warned the people,” Prawit told reporters on Tuesday, without elaborating.
High tide hit 2.67 metres at 9:55am on Monday morning and flooding was reported in Bangkok Noi, Taling Chan, Bang Khunthian and Nong Chok districts.
More high tide is expected on Tuesday, officials said.
Aswin was appointed as the Bangkok Governor by the ruling military junta in 2016. Although Governors typically serve for four years per term, the military-backed government has yet to announce when the next gubernatorial election will be held.