Thailand’s Post-Flood Seminar: Lessons Learned from 2011 Great Flood Disaster and Future Directions for Flood Prevention

Thailand’s Post-Flood Seminar: Lessons Learned from the 2011 Great Flood Disaster and Future Directions for Flood Prevention and Mitigation. This is third report on my post-flood visit to Bangkok, Thailand.

AIT/ASEAN Affairs/CAIT Seminar, Bangkok, 21 Dec 2011 (credit:

A seminar on “Lessons learned from the 2011 Thailand Flood Disaster and Future Directions for Flood Prevention and Mitigation” was organized by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and ASEAN Affairs in association with the Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology (CAIT), University of Mississippi, in a Bangkok hotel on December 21, 2011.
The panel of speakers included: AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust, AIT alumnus, Dr. Waheed Uddin (LIDAR expert from U.S.) and Mr. Chawalit Chantararat (water expert from TEAM Group) along with Dr. Masahiko Nagai (Geoinformatic Center at AIT) and Mr. Swarup Roy (ASEAN Affairs). The speakers stressed the need for knowledge sharing, capacity building, and preparedness. This report presents a summary of the seminar on lessons learned from this great flood disaster and an overview of remote sensing technologies to prevent future flood disasters. The seminar was attended by over 100 people and media on December 21, 2011 in a Bangkok hotel. All seminar presentations are available on AIT’s seminar webnews page.
The seminar featured the following panel presentations:
AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust: Welcome remarks and AIT experience
Mr. Swarup Roy: Save Our Planet
Dr. Pornsak Suppataratarn: 2011 Flood of the Century
Dr. Masahiko Nagai: Sentinel Asia and International Disaster Charter for flood in Thailand
Prof. Waheed Uddin: Airborne LIDAR Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technologies for Flood Disaster Prevention and Infrastructure Planning
AIT/ASEAN Affairs/CAIT Seminar, 21 Dec 2011: (from right) President Said Irandoust, Mr. Swarup Roy, and Prof. Waheed Uddin (during presentation of Dr. Pornsak Suppataratarn)

My report continues presentation of the findings of my independent assessment of flood inundation impacts on the AIT campus in Rangsit which includes a detailed inspection of several buildings with the assistance of AIT staff. Other highlights of my presentation are:

  • Significant socio-economic impacts on people’s lives and their livelihoods are affected by flooding disasters. The resulting loss of lives, property damage, disruptions to businesses and manufacturing sector, and long-term economic losses are direct impacts of these natural disasters.
  • The 2011 flooding disaster in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand during October-November 2011 showed greater vulnerability risk because the agencies could not accurately estimate the enormity and extended period of flooding destruction.
  • The need to modernize flood risk mapping practices is urgent in Thailand in order to prevent flood disasters. Additionally, these floodplain mapping and geographical information system (GIS) tools can be used for post-disaster restoration and mitigation efforts to map the extent of the disaster.
  • Airborne LIght Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) can expedite accurate terrain mapping process because it can be operated nonintrusive both daytime and nighttime.
  • Airborne LIDAR mapping for flood disaster prevention, as well as the use of other remote sensing technologies such as aerial radar surveys for topographic mapping, high resolution satellite imagery and geospatial technologies.
  • FRP composite sheet piles to strengthen flood walls and dikes; FRP composite sheet pile enclosures for protection of buildings and other infrastructure.

Dr. Uddin’s Seminar Presentation, Bangkok, 21Dec2011 (first and last slides)


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