Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Five children among seven killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Bangkok braces for higher water as govt plans to open floodgates

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-21

Bangkok braced for more flooding on Friday amid government plans to open the capital's sluice gates to drain floodwaters from surrounding areas. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra warned residents to move possessions to higher ground as a precaution.

AFP - Millions of jittery Bangkok residents were warned Friday to move their belongings higher up after the government admitted it was failing in its battle to hold back huge floods just north of the city.

In a new tactic, the government has said it will open Bangkok's sluice gates to allow the sea of floodwater to drain through canals in the capital, which has an extensive system of waterways and drainage pumps.

The move should ease pressure on vulnerable flood barriers on the northern edge of the city of 12 million people, but increases the threat to Bangkok itself, which has so far escaped major inundation.

Residents were advised to move their possessions to higher floors or areas as the capital braced for the arrival of the floods from the central plains, which are several metres under water in places.

"I ask all Bangkok residents to move your belongings to higher ground as a precaution, but they should not panic. It's preparation," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters.

"We will rapidly assess the situation and regularly inform the public."

On Thursday Yingluck warned the government "cannot block the water forever".

Three months of heavy monsoon rains have killed more than 300 people, damaged the homes and livelihoods of millions of Thais, mostly in the north and centre, and forced tens of thousands to seek refuge in shelters.

In the capital there has been a rush to stock up on food and bottled water, while motorists have parked hundreds of cars on bridges or elevated roads.

Yingluck said the authorities would organise additional evacuation centres, make more parking spaces available and assign security officials to oversee significant locations such as the palace and Bangkok's main airport.

The opposition is calling on the government to declare a state of emergency to make it easier to control people and prevent them damaging dykes to ease the flooding in their own areas.

Tens of thousands of soldiers and police have already been mobilised to maintain order and maintain the flood barriers.

"I will consider declaring a state of emergency although we don't want this kind of situation as investors' confidence has already been shaken and so far the government received good cooperation from the military," Yingluck said.

"I'm not sure that if we impose state of emergency it will help to improve the situation," she added.

Yingluck, the sister of fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, is facing the biggest test so far of her two-month-old leadership and in recent days has appeared to be showing signs of strain.

The authorities have failed to protect a number of major industrial parks from the gushing brown water, which has inundated hundreds of factories outside Bangkok, disrupting production of cars, electronics and other goods.

The government says more than half a million people have seen their jobs disappear for now.

In Nonthaburi Province, only a few kilometres (miles) north of Bangkok, people have been wading through water with bags, boxes and suitcases as they abandoned their waterlogged homes.

Most of Thailand's main tourist attractions -- including the southern islands of Samui, Phuket and Phi Phi -- have been unaffected although some foreign governments have warned against non-essential travel to the country.

Bangkok's main airport, built on a drained marsh, is still operating as normal and its flood defences have been reinforced.
 

Date created : 2011-10-21

  • THAILAND

    Bangkok scrambles to repair floodgate

    Read more

  • THAILAND - WEATHER

    Bangkok on alert for further flooding over weekend

    Read more

  • THAILAND

    Three-quarters of Thailand affected by worst floods in decades

    Read more

COMMENT(S)