More Bangkok residents leave due to river rise

by Alister POOLE on October 28, 2011

Water levels of Bangkok’s Chao Praya river struck new heights today, as residents continued leaving the Thai capital ahead of probable flooding at the weekend.

The city’s roads were jammed as residents took advantage of a five-day holiday for residents to leave the city, if they wish. Flood waters continue to creep into the northern districts of Bangkok while the centre remains dry.

The authorities have warned that high tides due are on Saturday, which, combined with flows of a run-off water from the central plains, might cause wider flooding. Since July, heavy monsoon rains have been the cause of flooding in Thailand and in excess of 370 people were killed while swathes of the South East Asian country have been affected.

Officials fear that the Chao Phraya, which bisects Bangkok, will burst its banks once water levels rise due to unusually high seasonal tides on Saturday and Sunday. On Thursday, the main bus stations and roads became packed as thousands of city-dwellers made their way to coastal southern and eastern towns that are unaffected by the flooding thus far. This mass exodus continued on Friday and television footage showed roads leading out of Bangkok jammed with both cars and trucks.

The floods have forced key industrial estates and their factories to shut down, which has hit the economy hard. Today, the Bank of Thailand was forced to slash its growth forecast for financial year from 4.1 growth to just 2.6%.

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