Thailand Flood: Bangkok Braces as Damage Swells [PHOTOS]

  @https://twitter.com/dantovrov on October 18 2011 9:58 AM

Severe flooding in Thailand has left more than 300 people dead and stranded thousands of others. As rain waters continue to inundate farms and flood cities, the country now faces about $7 billion in damages.

The situation began at the start of monsoon season in July, and three months of rain has resulted in the worst flooding in Thailand for 50 years.

Yingluck Shinawatra, the country's newly elected prime minister, warned Thai citizens that unless waters can be diverted into the sea, Bangkok could be even more severely damaged. Around 90 percent of the locks in the capital, which sits on the Gulf of Thailand, have been opened to allow water to drain out of the city, but additional storms could still cause massive floods, according to The Guardian.

Thai soldiers also built flood walls in Bangkok using more than one million sandbags.

The situation has invited criticism of Yingluck, who some Thais feel didn't properly warn or prepare the country for the disaster. So far, she has refused to call a state of emergency, fearing it would scare off tourists, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The rainy season has also affected Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, where nearly 10,000 people have had to leave their homes.

Thailand Floods: A Third of the Country Under Water; $30 Bn Loss to Economy (PHOTOS)

A bus is abandoned on a flooded road in the Ayutthaya province. Reuters

Thailand Flood 2011

A resident stands through flooded streets in Pathum Thani province, on the outskirts of Bangkok Reuters

Thailand Flood 2011

Residents and a dog make their way through floods as they leave Nava Nakorn industrial estate in Pathum Thani province Reuters

Thailand Flood 2011

A Buddhist monk in a big plastic container uses a pole to travel through a flooded temple complex in Nonthaburi province Reuters

Thailand Flood 2011

Water pumps are installed next to a spirit house of a flooded factory at the Nava Nakorn industrial estate in Pathum Thani province Reuters

Thailand Flood 2011

Recent floods in Thailand will affect computer supplies for months Reuters

Thailand Flood 2011

Thai soldiers try to protect the highway as floods advance into Rangsit near Bangkok in this file photo. Reuters

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