Thailand is an amazing country with phenomenal coastal areas to the west and south and beautiful forest and jungle to the north. I had the chance to spend almost a month there in the late 90s and I loved it. I’ll take indigenous Thai food over probably anything else I’ve ever eaten. Throw in fresh pineapple and the best coffee I’ve had in my life. We spent time in Ko Muk (south), Patthaya (central coast), Chiang Mai (north), and, of course, Bangkok. It’s definitely saddening to see them battle the flooding of this extent and It’s hard for me to even fathom a city of Bangkok’s size dealing with flooding.
Yingluck said at the weekend it could take as long as six weeks for floods to subside. Authorities were battling to pump water out to sea before high tides at the end of the month.
A major issue that seems to be gaining steam is that the people, who are already distrusting of the government, think that their livelihoods are getting sacrificed for the sake of the Central Business District (CBD) of Bangkok. The prime minister even admitted that this is to protect Thailand’s economy, which has already gotten hammered by the flooding.
The Thailand Flood Monitoring System doesn’t appear to have been updated in more than a week which is a little worrisome since this is when it is needed most!
New flooding forces displaced Thais to move again; Bangkok remains on alert (Washington Post)
On Monday, cars were double-parked on parts of an elevated highway near Don Muang to escape the water. The smell of raw sewage mixed with the swift currents sweeping across parts of the main highway a bit farther north in Pathum Thani province near Thammasat University, where the military was helping to evacuate hundreds of flood victims who carried their few belongings slung across their backs in garbage bags.
Authorities are desperately trying to drain billions of cubic metres of water from upcountry out to sea through rivers and canals in and around the city by opening sluice gates in the capital — a risky strategy.
"There are several factors that we can’t control. The water is coming in two directions," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters on Sunday.
Another major test is expected between October 28 and 30 when seasonal high tides flow up Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river, meeting run-off water from the north.
It’s not a good sign that the flood projections keep getting worse and worse as the inundation increases and the next round of high tides gets closer. The government looks simply overwhelmed and is running out of options for the city. Hopefully the different levels of the Thai government can at least work together and not make the situation worse, but they seem to be in a no-win situation right now. A beautiful country to visit, this cannot be helping their tourist industry much either.