. Earth Science News .

Thai PM tells Bangkok to move belongings to safety
by Staff Writers
Bangkok (AFP) Oct 21, 2011

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 desperate attempt to drain the sea of muddy water, the authorities have opened all of Bangkok's sluice gates to allow the floods to flow through canals and rivers in the low-lying capital and into the Gulf of Thailand.

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, where water levels in canals were rising on Friday and minor flooding was reported in some northern districts.

Residents were advised to move their possessions to higher floors or safe 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," said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who has described the crisis as "overwhelming."

Three months of heavy monsoon rains have killed at least 342 people in Thailand and damaged the homes and livelihoods of millions of others, mostly in the north and centre.

Tens of thousands of people have been forced to seek refuge in shelters, including 33-year-old Nonglak Yodnankham who fled the approaching water in Pathumthani province just north of Bangkok.

"The flood was following behind us when we ran away. Within five minutes, it was already up to my waist," she told AFP at an emergency shelter at Bangkok's number two airport, Don Mueang, in the north of the city.

The authorities reassured residents they had evacuation plans ready if necessary.

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.

Bangkok residents have rushed to stock up on food and bottled water, while motorists have parked hundreds of cars on bridges or elevated roads.

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.

"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.

Amid signs of tensions between the government and the Bangkok governor, the 44-year-old former businesswoman said she would invoke a section of the disaster law to increase her authority in dealing with crisis.

Yingluck, who is the sister of fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra and was a political novice before taking office, is facing the first major crisis of her two-month-old leadership and has shown 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.

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.

Weeks of heavy rains have battered Southeast Asia. According to the United Nations, about 750 people have been killed across Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.

In Myanmar, a flash flood on Friday left about 60 people missing as homes were swept away in central Pakokku township, officials there said.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Toyota's Thai factories stay closed due to flood
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 21, 2011 - Leading Japanese automaker Toyota said Friday its three factories in Thailand will stay closed for another week due to the effects of severe flooding.

"Today, a decision was made to extend the halt through October 28" regarding the Samrong, Gateway, and Ban Pho plants, it said in a statement.

"Due to possible delays in parts supply from Thailand, other Toyota-affiliated production bases in Asia will start to adjust production on October 24," it said.

Toyota stopped production at the three plants from October 10 as some suppliers were severely damaged by the nation's worst flooding in decades, causing delays in supplying parts.

The flooding has had no direct impact on the three Toyota plants or their employees, Toyota said.

"Currently, recovery efforts are being made on a company-wide basis, based on a close observation of the supply chain situation," Toyota said.

"A decision on production from October 31 onwards will be based on a close observation of the situation as it develops," it said.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Thai flooding crisis scares off tourists
Bangkok (AFP) Oct 21, 2011
Thailand's flood crisis is taking its toll on the kingdom's lucrative tourism sector, scaring off nervous holiday-makers even though the most popular destinations remain unscathed. Since deadly monsoon rains began three months ago, images of inundated Thai homes and frightened residents wading through water have appeared worldwide and dented the allure of the "Land of Smiles", typically asso ... read more

Rice regrets shoe shopping amid Katrina disaster: book

Japan cabinet approves $156 bn recovery budget

El Salvador begins post-storm clean-up

Wall collapses at Pompei after flash storms

Study: No negative impact from e-readers

Greenpeace criticises Japan radiation screening

Apple profit soars but misses high expectations

China rare earths giant halts output as prices fall

From red planet to deep blue sea: Astronomer Squyres becomes NASA aquanaut

Explanation for Glowing Seas Suggested

Deep-reef coral hates the light, prefers the shade

Study identifies molecules used by certain species of seaweed to harm corals

Glaciers in China shrinking with warming

Polar bear habitats expected to shrink dramatically:

CryoSat rocking and rolling

US probes mystery disease killing Arctic seals

Study Reveals Diversity of Life in Soils

Genetically modified cotton worries some

New bacteria toxins against resistant insect pests

Chinese wine students are boon for Bordeaux

Thai PM warns deadly floods to last for weeks

French PM witnesses 'desolate' Japan tsunami zone

Erdogan visits Turkish quake zone as first bodies recovered

Etna volcano eruption forces airport closure

Sudden drop in Somali arrivals in Kenya: UNHCR

Kenya, Uganda snared in Battle for Africa

Kenyan forces advance on strategic Somali rebel bases

Car bomb rocks Mogadishu during Kenyan ministers visit

Culture in humans and apes has the same evolutionary roots

Crowded Earth: how many is too many

'Generation Squeezed': today's family staggering under the pressure

Blame backbone fractures on evolution, not osteoporosis


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement