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UPDATE: Bangkok’s floodwaters rise relentlessly

24 Oct 2011
The governor of Bangkok issued a late-night warning on October 23 for its residents to brace themselves as floodwaters continue to inch higher in some of Bangkok’s northern suburbs. This announcement comes after the government reported some progress in steering floodwaters around the east and west of the capital late last week. (See story here). According to The Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA), large volumes of water are barrelling towards six city districts. Some of these districts include Don Mueang, where the old Bangkok airport was located, and is now being used as a shelter for evacuees, Lak Si, and areas near the city centre. Those living in the outskirts of Bangkok are also experiencing the full force of the flooding, as water levels have reached a towering three metres, with vehicles completely submerged in the floodwaters. Flood conditions are expected to continue, with the highest water levels (due to higher tides) in Bangkok forecast to take place between October 28 and 30. According to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the government has flood prevention plans in place to cope with the imminent tides, at this stage there are no specific details. Countries in the region have started taking their own measures in regards to citizens travelling to Bangkok. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore issued a statement on October 20 advising Singaporeans to defer non-essential travel to Bangkok until the flood situation improves. A representative from the MFA Duty Office commented that they are observing the flood situation closely. Singaporeans who require consular assistance can contact the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok. In addition, Australia has also issued an overall advice for its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution for travelling to Thailand, but has not explicitly stated the need to reconsider travel to the city. Hong Kong citizens have not been told to cancel travel plans. A representative of the Thai consulate in Hong Kong commented, “It is not necessary to reconsider travel (to Bangkok). The Thai Government hasn’t hoisted the warning signal.” Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, commented that the floods could take approximately four to six weeks to subside. A total of 1,743 evacuation centres nationwide have been set up to accommodate about 800,000 people. For more updates and information about the floods, visit thailand.prd.go.th Tiffany Sandrasageran
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