Thailand floods: Bangkok on alert after six dead and 70,000 homes inundated

The country is trying to avoid a repeat of the 2011 floods, which killed 800 people

Stuti Mishra
Wednesday 29 September 2021 13:58
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<p>Thai citizens wade through floodwaters in Chaiyaphum province, northeast of Bangkok, Thailand</p>

Thai citizens wade through floodwaters in Chaiyaphum province, northeast of Bangkok, Thailand

Floods in Thailand has triggered emergency protection measures in the national capital Bangkok, after they led to the deaths of six people and left thousands of homes inundated.

Protection efforts have continued in the country’s worst-hit northern and central provinces over the weekend.

The floods, triggered by tropical storm Dianmu, affected nearly 30 provinces in central and northern Thailand, the country’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DPPM) said.

At least 70,000 homes are estimated to have been affected, with the kingdom’s central region bearing the brunt of the floods, the DPPM added. The tropical storm swept through the upper parts of Thailand over the weekend.

Officials on Monday also warned of seasonal monsoon rains that can worsen the flooding.

“The government is doing its best to assist all people. Plans are also being prepared to prevent floods in the lower parts of the country, including Bangkok and its adjacent provinces,” prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha posted on his Facebook page on Monday.

Bangkok is also prone to flooding, authorities have warned, adding that efforts are being taken to prevent it.

The water level of the Chao Phraya river, which flows through Bangkok and into the Gulf of Thailand, has risen as authorities release water from dams further upstream.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said it was closely monitoring the Chao Phraya’s water level, with sandbags and pumping stations also being used to reduce potential damage.

“We will give people a warning if there is a sign the water level is rising and if there is a risk of flash floods,” Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang said on Tuesday.

Dramatic evacuations have been carried out in affected areas in the last four days, with thousands of people rescued, some from their rooftops, as roads remained inundated. The DPPM said the flood situation has improved in seven provinces in Thailand.

Barriers and sandbags were used by soldiers on Tuesday to protect ancient archaeological ruins and landmarks, as well as neighbourhoods in the old royal capital Ayutthaya, around 60km north of Bangkok, AFP reported.

Thailand is trying to avoid a repeat of the 2011 floods, one of the worst the country faced in decades, that killed over 800 people.

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