Bangkok Losing To Mega Floods

In Asia, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

Residents are fighting a losing battle against huge floodwaters encircling Bangkok, despite authorities insisting the capital would escape major flooding.

A big industrial area in the north of the city was the latest victim overnight after flood protection barriers failed, and the east of Bangkok was also inundated.

Many homes and factories are underwater and hundreds of thousands of people are now out of work.

Four major industrial parks, many including high-tech manufacturers, are already underwater, affecting about 350,000 workers.

Volunteers and soldiers are frantically working together and filling sandbags to save factories and jobs.

“There is some impact if these factories close. They won’t need our supplies,” Apichart Kongka said.

“Our factory will then have to stop production as well. It will affect our income if our factory closes as we’ll have no work.”

Observing the huge barrier building effort, one Japanese factory owner was optimistic after a government declaration that the area should be safe.

“The water’s increasing. I check again this morning. It continues to increase and I think it will increase for a few days more because the water’s still coming down from up country,” he said.

“[The floods will] have a huge impact on the economy because when the water goes down there’s a lot of work to do to put everything right; a lot of money to be spent to rebuild factories, communities. It’s a huge, huge issue for sure.

“On Navanakorn site we have around 300 people. We have another factory at Bang Si, we lost that factory last week.

“We have another factory at Bang Pa-in, we’re fighting the water there, we’re hopeful we can win. But it’s a big effort.”

Eventually water poured into the factory and the area has now been evacuated.

The government has repeatedly said that central Bangkok should escape major flooding. The city coped with high tides, massive run-off and heavy rain at the weekend.

More predicted high tides will test the government’s strategy to divert water around the city’s outskirts, which are already now heavily flooded.

It is unknown how long the water will take to subside and further heavy rain is forecast.

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