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Introduction of Risk Management for Southern Thai Flooding

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A flood, by definition, is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. Every year, more than nine million people in fourteen provinces of southern Thailand are suffered from the severe floods. They cannot run away from home but find a way to deal with the situation year after year. The problem of floods has been a major concern for Thai residents because it led to huge loss in both life and property. In recent years of 2010 and 2011, according to the news, the situation is getting worse and worse. More people died and more damages are affected by the floods.

The southern Thailand has an average of annual rainfall of over 1,300 mm, as shown in the Figure 1. In 2011, southern Thailand as part of Malay Peninsula, was been hit harder by severe floods. The floods were caused by torrential monsoon that rained for more than two weeks during mid-December, 2010. The rainfalls came with northeaster winds flow into the region from the South China Sea. The winds carried abundant moisture and heavy rains, as you can see from the Figure 2. With discontinuous heavy rain that fell for weeks and months, it was very likely to have flooding, especially when the local government and citizen have limited knowledge to take control of the initial problem.

Like every other developing countries, for the growing population, Thai people started to expand houses and buildings in the cities and provinces. However, policies and procedures were being neglected. Government did not establish proper urban planning and people did not respect the land and environment. They built house in low plain land or the places that should be restricted. Together with other factors, such as poor drainage, deforestation, and changing of the landscape, a controllable incident then turned into a disaster to the nation.

We cannot fight with Mother Nature, but we could can the human errors. Flooding in southern Thailand is also caused by the human errors. To learn how to control floods and ease the impacts, risk management of this disaster is very important. The topic of Thai flooding has received a great deal of attentions since the group took the course of Risk Management lectured by Professor Kevin Hwang. It would be great to apply the lessons learned and find a best solution to solve the problem in real life. Besides, the group would like to do something to help the people of Thailand. Thus this paper uses a risk management approach to discuss the cause and effect of the event, as well as the possible solutions.

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