The Prime Minister of flood-soaked Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, seeking to bolster the confidence of the residents of the capital of Bangkok, said the government is doing everything in its power to deal with the worst flooding the country has seen in decades.
According to reports, Yingluck has assured Bangkok that flood walls will defend the city center, rendering the area safe. Soldiers and volunteers have raced in recent days to strength existing dykes and emplace sandbags.
Bangkok may face some problems in areas that are on the outer sides of the irrigation dykes but water levels will not be too high. But inner Bangkok has extremely high defenses, she said.
In conclusion, Bangkok should still be considered safe.”
However, the massive flooding, which commenced over two months ago, has already killed about 280 people, destroyed 700,000 homes and placed much of the northern and central parts of the nation under water. Now, Bangkok in the south, is starting feel its effects, with some authorities warning that water run-off, high tides and inclement weather may floods parts of the city.
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said in a statement: During 15 to 18 October, it may be a dangerous time because water from the north will be coming in... But I confirm it has not reached a crisis stage as of this moment.”
According to reports, Pathum Thani, a town only 30 miles north of Bangkok, is already heavily flooded.
A BBC correspondent, in Pathum Thani, Rachel Harvey, wrote: I'm standing on the top of one of the embankments that have been built to try and hold the water back but it's already seeping through at the bottom and the water level has risen almost to the top of the embankment. In front of me is the main Chao Phraya river which runs through Bangkok. It goes right through the historic old town and at this point it has already burst its banks.
Harvey added: “There's a village that is on the embankments there and it's been completely flooded. People are wading through in water up to their chests. Some people I've spoken to say they haven't had any help, they're running out of food and there is a main road over the river which is completely gridlocked. It's one of the main arterial routes north but, because the road is flooded, beyond this point everything is getting choked and that's causing additional problems.”
The flooding is also anticipated to hurt the Thai economy, what with dozens of factories shut down. The finance ministry estimated the initial cost to be about 69 billion baht ($2.2 billion); and also cut GDP growth for this year to 3.7 percent from 4 percent.
The damage is not over yet because we have to look at the continuity of economic activities, Kittirat Na Ranong, deputy prime minister, told Reuters.
We need to wait until the situation eases, so there is still a chance of higher losses.