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Poorer Suburbs Hit Hard by Bangkok Flooding

Thai soldiers help people evacuate from a flooded area at Phisi Charoen district in Bangkok, November 2, 2011.

Anxious Bangkok residents say floodwaters continued to rise Wednesday in some neighborhoods to the north and west of the city center, outside the network of barriers that has kept the city center largely dry.

In one western neighborhood, soldiers were helping residents to carry their belongings through the waist-deep water as they headed for higher ground.

"I have wanted to move out [of Bangkok] for sometime now. But I was worrying about my work," said Daranee Putakhom. "I have to stop worrying about the work now. I gave up about my work for now to save my life first.

The contrast between the dry city center and the flooded poorer suburbs is feeding rising anger against the government, which is using a network of makeshift barriers to divert the water from Bangkok's commercial heart.

VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Bangkok

In one area north of the city, soldiers were dispatched to guard workers while they repaired a sluicegate that was sabotaged by residents to let more water drain out of their neighborhood.

Authorities meanwhile are struggling to deliver food and other supplies to the flooded neighborhoods, where residents are forced to wade through increasingly fetid water to reach the supply trucks.

Officials say they are frustrated that residents chose to wait out the floods in their homes rather than move into emergency shelters.

Some of the anger is directed against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who gets much of her support from the poorer suburbs where the flooding is worst.

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