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Asia-pacific

Floods close Bangkok's second airport

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-25

Floodwaters breached barriers and began seeping into Bangkok's Don Muang airport Tuesday, used primarily for domestic flights, forcing at least one airline to suspend operations for a week. The death toll from the flooding since July has reached 366.

AP - Floodwaters in Thailand breached barriers defending Bangkok’s second airport on Tuesday and have begun seeping into the compound, forcing at least one airline based there to suspend flights for a week, officials said.

It was not immediately clear how much water had entered Don Muang airport, which is primarily used for domestic flights. An airport official confirmed water had crept inside, but said runways were unaffected and flights were still operating normally.

Budget airline Nok Air suspended operations at Don Muang until Nov. 1 “because water has entered the north side of the airport already,” the company’s CEO Patee Sarasin told The Associated Press.

Patee said all airborne planes will be diverted to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the country’s main international gateway. He said refunds would be given as needed.

Thailand’s government says the death toll from catastrophic flooding nationwide has risen to 366 since they began in late July.

The Flood Relief Operations Center, which is based at Don Muang airport, said water levels in provinces north of Bangkok are stable or subsiding, but the massive runoff is still bearing down on the city as it flows south toward the Gulf of Thailand.

Authorities have declared seven of the capital’s 50 districts at risk and those zones, located in the north and northwest, are experiencing minor flooding. But most of Bangkok is dry.

Late Monday, Gov. Suhumbhand Paribatra warned residents in the northwestern Bang Phlat district to move their belongings to higher ground after water from the Chao Phraya River crept in through a subway construction site.

Date created : 2011-10-25

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