News / Asia

Thai PM Warns Swollen River Could Flood Inner Bangkok

A woman and her dogs sit in a boat as they are evacuated from a flooded area in Bangkok October 26, 2011.
A woman and her dogs sit in a boat as they are evacuated from a flooded area in Bangkok October 26, 2011.

Bangkok residents are bracing for rising flood waters that the prime minister says could inundate low-lying areas in the coming days.  Although most of the capital is still dry, the prime minister is urging people near the city’s Chao Phraya River to move to higher ground.

A surge of flood water from the north and east is expected to arrive in Bangkok Thursday, straining the city’s flood barriers and drainage canals.

Thai Navy Deployed

The Thai navy has deployed a fleet of ships to the Chao Praya and other rivers, where they are using their propellers to try to speed the flow of water through the city to the sea.

"It helps a lot. From what I calculated, usually the water in Klong Lat Po is around 500 cubic meters per second," Navy Captain Prasert Chanprapak. With more than 10 vessels here, it can increase the water flow to more than a thousand cubic meters per second."

Chanprapak says with 10 vessels in one location, he believes the flow of water has been doubled.

But Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says that, despite the navy efforts and constant reinforcement of the embankments, she is no more than 50 percent certain that the city will be spared.

In a televised address Tuesday evening, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced parts of central Bangkok could soon be under water.

She says, despite efforts to divert and drain flood waters away from the capital, the volume of water is more than they can handle.

She says if flood barriers collapse or the coastal tide is higher than expected, inner Bangkok will be flooded. She says, because  different areas of Bangkok have different heights, flooding in the capital would range in depth from a low of 10 centimeters up to one and a half meters.

One test will be whether flood barriers around the perimeter of the city’s more heavily populated areas can successfully divert flood waters away from the downtown. If the barriers hold, communities outside the dikes are expected to be under as much as 1.5 meters of water.

The other worry is the Chao Phraya River that runs through the heart of the city to the Gulf of Thailand.

Run-off from northern flood waters already has raised the river to its highest level in years.  At high tide during the expected flood surge, Thursday, authorities say the river could rise above flood walls that line its banks, spilling into the city.

The prime minister warned residents living along the river to move to higher ground.

She says the areas of highest risk in Bangkok are those along the Chao Phraya’s banks, including those along and outside of flood prevention walls.

The prime minister’s comments came just hours after flood waters entered Bangkok’s main domestic airport, Don Muang, forcing authorities to cancel all flights.

The airport was also being used as the government’s flood relief and command center and to house thousands of flood evacuees.

They were being evacuated further south, but the prime minister Wednesday said authorities will  continue to use the airport to coordinate flood prevention and relief efforts.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
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.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid