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Rumours, old news create flood of panic in Bangkok

Bangkok residents reassured as govt threatens legal action

BANGKOK Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has dismissed online rumours that Bangkok's Saen Saep canal would be closed to allow the discharge of rainwater from the northern provinces. He urged the public to follow truthful information on official websites and other reliable sources.

The government will also take legal action against those who intentionally mislead the public by posting old news dating back to the country's massive floods in late 2011, according to chief spokesman Lieutenant-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

As Bangkok was hit by heavy rain from late Friday night to the early hours of Saturday, some old news stories and images that appeared online suggested that a massive amount of water had been released from the Bhumibol Dam to Bangkok via the Saen Saep canal.

These posts were disseminated to frighten the public, Lt-Gen Sansern said. He added that those who posted the false information would be subject to criminal prosecution under the computer crimes and related laws.

According to the governor, the city's administration has worked closely with the Department of Irrigation to manage the overall floodwater situation, and it is untrue that the Saen Saep canal would be shut down.

He said the city has returned to normal with only a few major streets still flooded late on Saturday.

Rainwaters had reached the critical level of 214mm, causing flash floods in 55 locations across Bangkok.

The Meteorological Department forecast there could be more rain in Bangkok and its vicinity due to a monsoon and a high-pressure system, but the tropical storm Khanun would have no effect on Thailand after making landfall in upper Vietnam.

Earlier on Saturday, Bangkok residentswere urged to stay home as many city roads were still inundated.- THE NATION/ANN

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