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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     24 October  2011

Bangkok residents prepare for flood waters

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Millions of people in the Thai capital nervously prepared for the advancing and seemingly unstoppable flood waters on Monday after a fresh warning for residents to evacuate certain danger zones.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) said late Sunday that large volumes of water were flowing towards low-lying Bangkok and were closing in on six city districts, including areas just north of the city center.

The announcement came after the Thai government said it would set up a distribution center in Bangkok to help replenish empty supermarket shelves in preparation for the floods that have so far largely spared the capital.

Other parts of the country have been plagued by three months of heavy monsoon rains, which have killed more than 350 people in Thailand and damaged the homes and livelihoods of nine million people.

The six Bangkok districts now of pressing concern include Chatujak, home to a giant weekend market popular with tourists, and Don Mueang, where the city's second largest airport is currently doubling up as a flood refuge center.

The BMA on Sunday called on residents in these areas who faced "potential dangers to lives and properties" to evacuate to emergency shelters.

"In particular, priority must be assigned to the sick, young and elderly," said the statement, asking the public not to panic.

The government has also said it would discuss measures in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to help the nation's hundreds of flood-affected factories get back on track, with financial aid and tax incentives among the ideas mooted.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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