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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     5 November  2011

Thai Flood Update-November 5

Central Bangkok: only minor flooding

Bangkok's well-protected centre is only at risk of "minor" flooding, the Thai premier said Saturday, as the deluge closed in on the metropolis, inundating roads and threatening several subway stations.

Thailand's worst floods in decades have swamped at least 20 percent of the capital but Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said flood barriers and drainage systems would keep the city's economic and political heartland mostly dry.

"If all measures are implemented as planned we can save the economic zone of Bangkok," she said in a weekly radio and television address to the nation.

"Even though there may be minor and brief flooding, we can pump and drain it out swiftly."

With the slowly advancing water now just a few kilometres (miles) away from business and tourists districts, authorities are seeking to push the floods through waterways in the east and west of the sprawling capital and out to sea.

PM visits flooded province

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday visited flood affected people in Nakhon Sawan province, reported said.

At the provincial city hall, Ms Yingluck handed out 5,000 baht (US$170) per household financial assistance to 36,498 households of the flood victims, according to the reports.

Flood centre abandons Rama II Road

Rama II Road has been left defenseless against approaching floodwater after a decision that could cut road links between Bangkok and the South.

With some sections of Phetkasem and Boromratchonnanee roads impassable due to high water levels, Rama II is the only lifeline available for motorists wanting to travel to the South or resort areas in the lower central provinces.

A source at the Flood Relief Operations Command said officials had decided not to build barriers to stop water moving towards the road and will let it flow over it and continue to the Gulf of Thailand.

"It is useless to block the water moving out to the sea. If we do that, more people will be affected," the source said.

Water is threatening Bang Bon district and Rama II to the South looks set to be affected if Bang Bon is under water.

Floodwaters arrive at Skytrain station

The runoff from Lat Phrao intersection on Saturday morning flowed along Phahon Yothin road to inundate both lanes in front of BTS Mo Chit station and Civil Aviation Institute opposite the Chatuchak Sunday market, reports said.

It was reported that the floodwater was heading to Saphan Kwai area of inner Bangkok.

Floods near inner Bangkok
Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra maintains a brave posture as more zones and roads are swamped in the capital.

Flood water is now closing in on Bangkok's inner zone, since about 16,000 million cubic metres of water started ravaging the Chao Phraya basin a few months ago.

Flooding has showed no signs of easing in the capital, after swamping Bangkok’s outskirts.

He also warned that water could reach Victory Monument, a major traffic hub, by Sunday.

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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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