News / Asia

Tensions Mount in Thai Capital as Floodwaters Devastate Suburbs

Tempers flared Monday along a barrier protecting the Thai capital from record flooding, with angry residents outside the flood wall overpowering security forces to force open a floodgate that left their homes under water.

The confrontation in the city's northeastern sector came as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra voiced renewed focus on repairing ruptures in the barriers that are allowing water to seep into central Bangkok  -- home to hundreds of cultural landmarks, including the Grand Palace and a host of tourist attractions.

"Today Bangkok residents might feel that the water level hasn't gone down because in some canals the broken barriers haven't been fixed, so the water comes in. So we've speeded up the repair at several spots. Last night we asked the private sector to help out so there are a few spots we're rushing to fix. Once the problem is solved we can be less worried," Yingluck said.

As Yingluck spoke of saving the central city, desperate residents near the, Klong Sam Wa, floodgate used hammers and pickaxes to break through an earthen dike around the floodgate to release rising water.  Television footage showed residents pushing aside police trying to stop them.

The master plan to save Bangkok's inner city continues to spawn widespread resentment in residential areas outside the flood barriers, where tens of thousands of residents have been left to fend for themselves as water courses through residential streets and destroys homes and belongings.

One resident, Ar-pa Ketpradit, of a district north of Bangkok said that in his neighborhood, the water still seems to be rising. "The water level has not receded, it keeps rising, not receding. It will rise in the morning from 9 to 10 am, it will rise and will not recede,'' he said.

He said he does not know when it will recede.

Months of flooding across central Thailand have sent massive amounts of water southward toward the capital -- its last obstacle on the way to the sea. The flood peak in Bangkok has coincided with unusually high tides which have acted to push floodwaters back up the Chao Phraya River.

Tens of thousands of residents in the metropolitan area of 12 million residents have fled the area in recent days on bamboo rafts, vans, army trucks or on foot, heading for higher ground in the south.  Many have flown out of the city.

The flooding that began in July, the country's worst in 50 years, has already claimed more than 380 lives.  The material losses are yet to be determined.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid