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Flooding shuts airport in Bangkok

Advancing floodwaters yesterday shut down commercial flights at Bangkok's second airport, which also housed the country's flood-relief headquarters.

The closure of Don Muang airport was sure to further erode public confidence in the ability of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's administration to defend the anxious metropolis of nine million people. The airport houses the Government's recently established emergency Flood Relief Operations Centre and one of its terminals has been converted into an overcrowded shelter filled with tents for about 4,000 people who fled their waterlogged homes.

Authorities were yesterday planning to move some of the refugees to another location.

Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, the country's main international gateway, has yet to be affected by flooding and flights there were operating normally.

Don Muang, on Bangkok's northern outskirts, is among seven of the capital's 50 districts the Government has declared at risk from floodwaters which have inundated about a third of the country and killed 366 people.

The Government yesterday declared a public holiday from October 27 to 31 in all affected areas, including Bangkok.