The latest news on the Thailand floods

Ongoing flooding in Thailand appears to be easing at last. Water levels seem to have peaked in Bangkok.

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     A temple surrounded by floodwaters in the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok [AFP] 

    The worst floods in half-a-century, which submerged entire towns across Thailand’s central plains, do now appear to be easing.

    Nearly three hundred people have been killed so far, while more than two hundred major highways and roads have been shut, along with the main railway lines to the north.

    The most affected provinces are just north of Bangkok, including Ayutthaya, which is a United Nations World Heritage Site, and home to a series of ancient and treasured stone temples.

    The government expressed some confidence on Sunday that the situation in Bankok does now appear to be under control.
    The largest mass of runoff water flowing southwards, has now passed through the capital’s Chao Phraya River, and into the Gulf of Thailand. So it seems likely that the river levels should rise no further.

    We are now coming to the end of the rainy season, however, Bangkok does still average 206mm in October, dropping to 66m in November. At half way through the month, the rain should be easing down by now. Bangkok has on average, 14 wet days in October, compared to 5 in November.

    Concerns were heightened on Saturday, when a further 92 mm of rain fell in 24 hours. This amounts to 45 per cent of the monthly average in just one day.

    Thankfully, the elaborate system of flood walls, canals, dikes and underground tunnels protecting Bangkok have, by and large, kept the flooding at bay.

    It does seem likely that that the threat of further flooding may be easing, but it could yet be several days before the capital is fully out of danger.   

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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