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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     14  October  2011                    

Bangkok prepares for possible flooding

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Rising sea levels predicted this weekend have fueled fears of severe flooding in Bangkok.

Local authorities have distributed 20-30 sandbags to each household in villages in Samut Sakhon which is one of the flood drainage areas for Bangkok and the central provinces.

Sunak Hon Canal, a major canal linking the Tha Chin River with the Mae Klong River, will drain water from the Mae Klong into the sea.All residents are preparing or are prepared for flooding.

"What worries us most is rising sea levels during the arrival of the floodwater. If this happens, the Maha Chai area will certainly be flooded. The situation will be worse than the big flood of 1995," a resident said.

In previous floods, the highest water levels usually experienced were 50centimeters. However, the community can handle floods of up to 1m, he said. Floods in the area depend on sea levels.

Bangkok residents living near Rama IX and Ramkhamhaeng roads near the Saen Saeb canal have rushed to stockpile dried food, instant noodles and drinking water.

Many vendors are worried that their livelihoods will be badly hit if floods ravage the area. In Bangkok's Rarm Intra area, residents of the Nives housing community were confident their community would be saved from the flooding.

A retired government official living in the community said most residents were not worried about floods as there were canals to drain water.

However, they were not complacent. Many were closely monitoring news about the flooding, he said. Bangkok MP Pollaphum Wipatphumprathet urged residents in Kannayao and Bung Kum districts not to panic about the flooding. Water levels in major canals were not high at the moment, he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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