Oct 14 2011

Worst Flooding in Thailand in Decades Heading Towards Bangkok

Map picture


The ongoing flooding in northern Thailand on the Chao Phraya River is now ever closer to downstream Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Flooding has been going on for 3 months now and is now a threat to the city of close to 10 million people. It looks like the government may be protecting the heart of the city but the east side could get hit very hard. Almost 300 people have died in the country since the flooding started.



The Chao Phraya drains an area of about 60,000 square miles, over a third of the country. In 1995, the flooding peaked at over 150,000 cfs, and this flood is likely higher than that but it was difficult to find any gaging data. The Mekong Basin (eastern part of Thailand) is also experiencing extreme flooding.

Some of the pictures of the flooding around Ayutthaya are mind-blowing but Dusty (my blog co-author) reminded me that the width of flooding is likely what you’d see in a flood in the Central Valley, California or on the Mississippi River if not for the levee system in place.

Update (10/17/11)

Bangkok appears to have been spared after this past weekend’s events but I can tell you that the 500 boats enlisted to try to push water to the ocean did not help but probably just wasted gas. 


Operational flood forecasting for Chao Phraya river Delta (by Sutat Weesakul and Supot Thammasittirong)

Bangkok Will Escape Flooding as Barriers Hold, Yingluck Says (Bloomberg)

Flooding in Thailand (Toronto Sun) (Pictures)


1 ping

  1. Betta fish

    Mind blowing, I agree. My sister-in-law had to be rescued by boat from her house with 2 meters of water on the street in front. Vast areas are flooded that I used to drive by often.

  2. Jessica Ludy

    Thank you for sharing the news about this devastating situation. Do you know where to find information about the basin like development patterns and what infrastructure (in the past) has been relied upon for flood risk management?

    1. Dusty Robinson


      I haven’t found any specific information about what you are asking for. Google crisis response has a page that contains a lot of helpful info. There is a resource section that has several official resources. That would be a good place to start looking some.

  1. Another Round of Flooding in Southeast Asia as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam Battle the Deluge (Footage) » Hydraulically Inclined

    […] course, this all calls to memory the devastating flooding that just occurred 2 years in this region, especially the flooding that hit Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok. A recent poll by Bangkok […]

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