Bangkok vulnerable to floods says Thai PM

by William ASTON on October 26, 2011

All areas of Bangkok have now become vulnerable to flooding, warned Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a televised address this afternoon.

The PM explained that certain parts of the capital might be inundated by anything up to 1.5m of water. Already, hundreds of people who were evacuated to Don Muang, the second most used airport in Bangkok, are now being moved on again after flood waters finally reached the runway.

Over 360 people have lost their lives thus far and 100,000 have been displaced by the South East Asian country’s worst flooding for 50 years. The crisis comes as an early test for Thailand’s new prime minister, who only took office in August and was previously criticised for not taking the threat that the flood posed seriously enough.

In Prime Minister Yingluck’s address, which was made late on Wednesday night in Bangkok, she warned that the existing floodwalls and embankments set up around the north of the city, specifically around the snaking Chao Phraya river, were especially vulnerable.

She cautioned that the calamitous combination of flood waters and monthly high tides at the weekend could easily overwhelm reinforced flood defences.While flood waters are capable of lingering in the Thai capital for anything between a fortnight and a month, provincial areas won’t be as bad.

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