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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs