Monday, October 24, 2011

Thais tense as floods set to swamp more of capital

Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat and Martin Petty in Reuters: More districts of Thailand's capital were on high alert on Monday with floods bearing down from northern Bangkok as authorities raced to pump water toward the sea and defend the business district.

Hundreds of people were evacuated over the weekend as water in residential areas of the northern Lak Si and Don Muang suburbs reached levels as high as two meters (six feet), testing flood defenses and spilling out of swollen canals and rivers.

Thailand's worst flooding in five decades has killed at least 356 people and affected nearly 2.5 million, with more than 113,000 living in temporary shelters and 720,000 people seeking medical attention.

Central areas and the industrialized provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Ayutthaya on the northern fringes of the Bangkok are the worst hit, but with rivers and canals at a constant risk of bursting, the city of 12 million is on edge....

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