Bangkok’s flooding situation looks set to worsen, as Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, warned that the centre of the city could experience waters of up to 1.5 metres high if floodwall barriers break.
According to Shinawatra, the areas around the Chao Phraya river currently face the highest risk of massive inundation. On October 25, the river reached an unprecedented high of 2.3 metres (See story here). The levels are expected to surge up to 2.6 metres this weekend, which would mean that the river will overflow its embankment that is 2.5 metres high. Sandbags are being placed on top of the embankment to protect the capital from the waters. Approximately 10 million sandbags are needed to cover the 75.7km stretch along the river.
Meanwhile, Bangkok’s domestic airport has been hit by the force of the floods. Floodwaters inundated Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport at 7pm on October 25, causing the domestic airport to suspend all its flights. The low-cost carrier, Nok Air has cancelled all its flights at Don Muang Airport until 31 October. Another low-cost carrier Orient Air has temporarily moved its domestic operations from Don Muang Airport to the international Suvarnabhumi Airport until further notice. Suvarnabhumi Airport has not been affected by the floods yet, and flights are still operating normally.
Currently, the Don Muang Airport is housing the Flood Relief Operations centre, where approximately 4,000 people are put up in tents in an overcrowded shelter after their homes have been deluged by the floodwaters.
After days of monitoring the floods closely, the Security Bureau in Hong Kong has hoisted a red travel alert warning to Thailand that urges its citizens to adjust their travel plans and avoid non-essential travel. For Singapore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains its advice for its citizens to defer non-essential travel to the city.
A five-day vacation from October 27 to October 31 has been granted to the public and private sectors to brace themselves for the flooding and and protection of properties.
For more details about the floods and useful contact information, visit thailand.prd.go.th.