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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid