Floods prompt Bangkok evacuation

Residents living near Chao Phraya river moved to safety as floodwaters from north of country threaten Thai capital.

    Residents living in Bangkok have been warned of floodwaters rising in the capital [AFP]

    Residents living near the main river that passes through the Thai capital Bangkok have been evacuated due to fears that the Chao Phraya could overflow following two weeks of flooding that has claimed at least 38 lives across the country.

    The Bangkok Post newspaper reported that the country's irrigation department issued warnings on Sunday to people living in seven low-lying provinces, including Bangkok, as water from further north began to flow downstream.

    The floods, which began on October 10, have affected millions of people across huge parts of the country, inundating thousands of homes and leaving authorities struggling to reach people stranded in
    remote areas.

    Authorities in the capital have reinforced flood walls with  200,000 sandbags and are building temporary wooden bridges in 27 communities to help people cross waterlogged streets.

    Around 4,000 cubic metres of water per second was expected to flow into the Chao Phraya river,
    which coupled with high sea levels surging from the other direction could cause floods in parts of the city.

    Abhisit Vejjajiva, the prime minister, said that while floods in the country's east and northeast were receding, the situation in central provinces was concerning, especially with high tides due in the next
    few days.

    "I'm trying my best to mobilise all possible assistance to solve this problem," he said in his weekly television broadcast.

    Extreme weather

    The Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand reported six more deaths to add to Saturday's toll of 32.

    The two worst-hit northeastern provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima and Buriram have each reported six deaths, while six people were also killed in Lop Buri and three died in Khon Kaen.

    Extreme weather has battered countries in the Asia-Pacific region in recent weeks, with dozens killed in Vietnamese floods and nearly 50 people left dead in the Philippines and Taiwan by Typhoon Megi, which has crossed into southern China.

    In western Myanmar, Cyclone Giri killed at least one person on Friday and left tens of thousands in need of assistance.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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