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Floods kill hundreds in Southeast Asia
by Staff Writers
Bangkok (AFP) Oct 10, 2011

Four dead, five missing in Turkey floods
Ankara (AFP) Oct 10, 2011 - Flash floods and storms in southern and western Turkey have killed four people and left five others missing, Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.

Earlier the agency put the death toll at three.

Rescue teams found the body of a woman in a village in the coastal Antalya province, a popular tourist destination, and five others were reported missing, deputy governor Turan Eren told Anatolia.

He said rescue efforts were under way. Schools have been closed across the province.

Floods also demolished three houses and three bridges in the Haskiziloren village of southern Antalya province, Anatolia reported.

Torrential rains also hit western Turkey, killing two people in Denizli and Manisa provinces.

Anatolia said that in the village of Karabayir, located in the southwestern Denizli province, a 60-year-old woman drowned while trying to protect her cows from rising waters.

In the hamlet of Yanikdag, in the western province of Manisa, a tornado devastated around 15 houses, including two which collapsed, killing a 70-year-old man and his one-year-old grandson, a local official, Davut Gordes, told Anatolia.

Massive floods have left 500 people dead across Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, officials said Monday, as authorities stepped up efforts to reach victims of the unusually heavy monsoon rains.

In Thailand, where the death toll from the country's worst floods in decades rose to 269, thousands of soldiers fanned out across affected areas as part of a huge aid operation.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who has described the situation as a "serious crisis," said the kingdom had two days before the arrival of the next tropical depression, but insisted the situation was under control.

"It is not necessary to announce disaster zones because we still can handle it," she told reporters, a day after postponing official visits to Singapore and Malaysia to stay and monitor the authorities' response.

She said new flood defences would be built in several locations in the north and east of the capital.

In neighbouring Cambodia, the toll from the country's worst floods in over a decade reached 207, including 83 children, a disaster official there said. Vietnam has reported 24 deaths from flooding in the Mekong Delta.

Vast swathes of rice paddy have been damaged or destroyed in Southeast Asia as a result of the floods.

In Thailand the floods have damaged the homes or livelihoods of millions of people, particularly farmers, across about three quarters of the country's provinces.

Huge efforts are now under way to stop the waters from reaching low-lying Bangkok, home to 12 million people, with prevention measures including sandbags along the Chao Phraya river.

"We're confident that Bangkok is still in control. The situation is normal," said Narong Jirasubkunakorn, a senior official at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

"We have 113 monitoring stations watching the overflow situation. As of now, every station reported a normal level."

He said water was being allowed through the city's canals and pumped out to sea to try to ease the situation in provinces north of the capital that have been badly affected, with water several metres deep in places.

In Thailand's ancient capital Ayutthaya, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) upriver of the capital, historic temples have been swamped and a large industrial estate, home to a slew of Japanese electronics and auto parts makers including car giant Honda, has been flooded.

A large amount of run-off water is expected to reach Bangkok in mid-October, while high tides will make it harder for the floods to flow out to sea, but the authorities said they were confident they could cope.

"The time we will have to watch carefully is the middle of the month and around the end of the month when the sea level will be high, but I think Bangkok will be just fine," said Narong

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Cambodian flood toll climbs to 207: govt
Phnom Penh (AFP) Oct 10, 2011 - More than 200 people have died in Cambodia's worst floods in over a decade, a disaster official said Monday, as the country scrambled to provide aid for tens of thousands of families.

Over 80 children were among those killed in two months of flooding caused by heavy rainfall that has seen the Mekong River burst its banks, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management.

More than 270,000 families have seen their homes or livelihoods waterlogged by the floods, which have inundated 350,000 hectares (865,000 acres) of rice paddies across the country, said the committee spokesman Keo Vy.

The flooding, which has killed 207 people, including 83 children, is the deadliest since 2000 and represents a huge challenge to the impoverished nation.

Despite the scale of the disaster Keo Vy insisted the situation was under control.

"We are not yet appealing for international assistance," he said, adding that the waters have begun to subside.

But he said the floods were "very serious for us".

The government, the Red Cross and several other relief organisations are working to provide aid, including urgent food deliveries, to the flood victims, he said, reaching some 67,000 families so far.

Cambodia has also received an emergency aid shipment from Japan, which included tents, blankets and water containers.

Officials estimate the damage to rice crops and infrastructure has reached at least $95 million, Keo Vy said.

In neighbouring Thailand, the worst monsoon floods in decades have left more than 250 people dead.


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Bangkok's neighbours shoulder flood burden
Bang Pahan, Thailand (AFP) Oct 8, 2011
As Thailand battles to keep its worst floods in decades from swamping Bangkok, anger is growing among residents upriver who say their homes are being sacrificed to keep the capital dry. "I pay the same tax as the people in Bangkok, why didn't they think of me too?" said a teary-eyed Wanpen Rittisarn, standing knee-deep in brown water in the centre of Bang Pahan, about 100 kilometres (60 mile ... read more

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