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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora