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

    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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora