News / Asia

Thai Flood Waters Reach Bangkok Airport After Government Warning

A man discards water from his house as water overflows from the Chao Phraya river to the street at Phranakhon district in Bangkok, October 24, 2011
A man discards water from his house as water overflows from the Chao Phraya river to the street at Phranakhon district in Bangkok, October 24, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Floodwaters that devastated parts of northern and central Thailand have reached one of the capital’s two main airports, where the government has its main flood relief center. Thai authorities have said Don Muang airport in northern Bangkok has not been affected, but warned six central districts of the city to prepare for flooding, including the airport.  

Eyewitnesses say flood waters are within meters of Bangkok’s main domestic airport, Don Muang, in a northern district that goes by the same name. Though the water at the airport is only shoe deep, it is expected to rise.

Run-off from weeks of record flooding in Thailand's northern and central plains has been swelling the city's canals and Bangkok's Chao Phraya River. Authorities have struggled to contain spill-overs and leaks by reinforcing dikes.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, October 23, 2011.
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, October 23, 2011.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra has warned residents of six districts, including Don Muang, they could soon be flooded and should move to higher ground.

Thai authorities have been using the airport to coordinate flood-relief and prevention efforts, raising the embarrassing possibility that they too could be flooded.

But flood-relief spokesman Sean Boonpracong told VOA the airport should be safe and they have no need to leave for now.

“The water will come in with a certain characteristic of this type of level and then build a certain amount of depth at the level, which will take some time," said Boonpracong. "There will probably be a bit overnight. That front of the mass of water would move much much further before the level go way, way, way up. And, that will take at least two days. We are aware of the situation and we will make a decision accordingly.”

One of the airport's passenger terminals is also being used to house hundreds of people evacuated from flooded houses.

Pontipat Chansurawong, 47, and her four family members fled their home in Rangsit, just north of Bangkok. She says they have been living in the airport for two days and will not return until the waste-deep waters recede.

“Until it is normal. No water. Maybe one or two months. Later, I do not know. Now, I do not know about the future,” she said.

It is not only people who lost their homes and have to live at the airport.

A makeshift animal shelter at Don Muang houses about 100 dogs, cats, and other animals. 

“Yes, we have plenty of food," said Dr. Aphiradi, a volunteer veterinarian, who says their greatest challenge is space. "But the thing that we are lacking is the place for the dog, the kennel. Because we have the problem with the big dog.”

The airport has reached its capacity for evacuees, and despite their losses they are still working to keep their spirits up.

Two families with small children dance together near a speaker playing music.

More than 100,000 people are living in similar evacuation centers in Thailand. They know it could be days or even weeks before they return to their normal lives.

More rain is expected and high tide at the end of the month could slow down draining of flood waters into the sea. The floods are the worst in decades and have cost more than 350 lives and an estimated $6 billion.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid