Bangkok Floods: Bangkok is Holding its Breath

The Thai capital, with 12 million inhabitants, is on high alert for this weekend holidays declared in haste before the arrival of huge water masses coming from the central plains of the country, coinciding with major tidal coefficients. The provisional toll reported 380 deaths and millions of people affected.

Bangkok Flood

Several districts in the north and west of the capital are flooded but the financial center is currently saved. | AFP / Nicolas Asfouri

Bangkok has been preparing to receive the bodies of water covering the northern and central regions and descend inexorably towards the Gulf of Thailand, forcing the overflow by dikes and rivers and canals. High tide on Friday night proved to ultimately lower than expected, and barriers installed on the Chao Phraya River, which flows through the capital, should take throughout this weekend crucial.

The commercial and financial center spared.On Saturday morning, the business center of the metropolis was still dry and the situation seemed much better advertised. Traffic more fluid than usual, and stacks of sandbags reflected the concerns of residents. Several northern districts, however, are very flooded. The water level has also increased, sometimes up to one meter in some areas west of the Chao Phraya River that runs through the capital. The old city, including Chinatown, was also severely affected, forcing visitors to walk the waterfront. The government reassuring. Faced with alternating messages sometimes reassuring, sometimes alarming the authorities , many fled Capital, which has like 20 other affected provinces, a special weekend for five days, until Monday to respond to the threat.Saturday morning, the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, after declaring that the waters threatened to flood the city for a month, made ​​the strange statement: “If everyone works hard (…), flooding in Bangkok will start to drop the first week of November. ” Avoid Bangkok for tourists. Tourists brave the advice of the embassies to avoid Bangkok and discover the old town with water to the ankles. However, it is advised travelers to avoid as much as possible the capital. Despite the efforts of authorities, the flooding could affect the operation of urban transport. It is also difficult to get bottled water and some basic foodstuffs.Power outages in some areas, could disrupt access to ATMs. According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all the major tourist destinations, except Ayutthaya, are accessible by road or air. Three more months of heavy rains . “Abundant rainfall is expected on the east coast of southern Thailand until the end of the week”, said Friday the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which warns the people of Chumphon, on the east coast the south face of “wind waves” higher than usual. The UN agency has recommended that ships to act “prudently”. In the next three months, many areas in Thailand are expected to experience above average rainfall, according to the WMO, which warns against possible cyclones. U.S. helicopters will monitor the country. The Thai authorities have asked a vessel American war to extend his stay in the port of Laem Chabang south of Bangkok, so that helicopters can observe the evolution of floods. Two Seahawk helicopters will conduct aerial reconnaissance for the Thai government, said Capt. John Kirby. The U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington and other vessels were deployed close to Thailand on October 16 for a possible emergency help, but the U.S. military has never received a formal request for assistance from Bangkok authorities before the departure of ships. growth revised downwards.  The floods caused the arrest of hundreds of factories, putting nearly half a million people laid off, especially in the areas of automotive and electronics. Domestic demand also slowed, while the global economic crisis weighed on exports, is the Bank of Thailand. The authorities believe that the bill for reconstruction will exceed previous estimates, reaching the 2.5 billion euros. The Central Bank declined by 4.1% to 2.6% growth forecast for 2011. They could even be lowered, especially if the center of the capital was hit, said the deputy governor, Paiboon Kittisrikangwan. AUDIO. “I had never seen this” VIDEO. In Bangkok, life goes on under water

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