News / Asia

Bangkok City Governor Warns Worst of Flooding to Come

Bangkok City Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, October 23, 2011.
Bangkok City Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, October 23, 2011.
Ron Corben

The floods hitting Thailand have so far spared the capital’s central and suburban areas of major flooding. But, the Bangkok city governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra says major inundation is forecast to hit the city by mid-week as a second wave of floodwaters hits the city from the north.

Flood defenses

During a visit to the city’s outer districts Sunday, Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the city’s flood defenses are prepared, but face a new wave of waters now bearing down from the northern provinces of Pathumthani and Ayutthaya.

“I think the first overflow has passed Bangkok already," he said. "It is going to the west and east and maybe will bypass Bangkok altogether. But I think the second overflow is three to four times the volume and we are bracing for that.  It will coincide two days later with a very high tide. So I think that will be the next difficult moment for us. But who knows water?"

Soldiers use sand bags to build barriers in flooded Pathum Thani province, in Bangkok's suburbs October 20, 2011.
Soldiers use sand bags to build barriers in flooded Pathum Thani province, in Bangkok's suburbs October 20, 2011.

In suburban areas of Bangkok, people are hastily building outer brick walls or sandbagging their shops and homes, while hundreds of cars and vehicles have been parked on bridges and inner expressway lanes to save them from rising flood waters.

Death toll

The floods are part of major inundations across Southeast Asia that have claimed more than 700 lives and forced millions from their homes. Thailand’s death toll has reached 356 - including more than 50 children.  

In Cambodia the toll has reached 247, while flooding has claimed 100 lives in Burma and more than 55 in Vietnam.

Sukhumband, a member of the Democrat Party, denied reports of disagreements between the city and national government led by the governing Pheu Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The prime minister has faced increasing criticism over her government’s handling of the flooding. On Friday, she invoked civil emergency legislation giving her full authority over the flood crisis.

“The problems [with the central government] have been exaggerated," he said. " We have cooperated all along, but sometimes it is different agencies that have proved difficult to deal with, for example, Metropolitan Water Works Authority. But that is OK, I am not complaining."

The center said more than one-million people have been moved to shelters or had returned home to their native provinces due to the floods.

Economic damage

The economic damage continues to mount. Economists estimated the cost of the floods at $6 billion, including the inundation of more than six major industrial estates.  

Industry Ministry officials say 14,000 factories have been hit by the floods with a loss of more than 600,000 jobs.

Migrant workers have also been hard hit, with support groups saying 200,000, mostly from Burma, who largely work in the industrial, agricultural and service industries have lost their employment.

Prime Minister Yingluck says it may take up to six weeks for the floods to fully recede.  But in a positive development, officials in Nakhon Sawan province, 240-kilometers north of Bangkok, say flood waters have begun to decline by as much as one meter.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid