Newley Purnell's home on the web since 2001

Month: October 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

11 links

Some Thailand related, some not…


  1. Pressure cooking — Austin Bush on David Thompson and the kerfuffle surrounding foreigners cooking Thai food. Related…
  2. …BBC News: Thai restaurants spark food fight
  3. Distance Runners Are a Paradox for InsurersNew York Times
  4. Journalism of tomorrow: More info, less facts — Journalism and the World
  5. To Save Students Money, Colleges May Force a Switch to E-TextbooksThe Chronicle of Higher Education
  6. The Parking Lot Movie — — entertaining new documentary about parking lot attendants in Charlottesville, Virginia
  7. A Poet’s Return Home to Thailand’s Violent SouthNew York Times
  8. The Future of Public Transport in Bangkok — Sustainable Cities Collective
  9. This Is Not a Blog Post: Blogs and Web magazines are looking more and more alike. What’s the difference? — Slate
  10. The Southeast Asian Arms Race — Asia Unbound/Council on Foreign Relations
  11. The Phenomenal ‘Chinese Professor’ Ad — James Fallows/The Atlantic

Image above: The World in Words.

Thailand flooding: death toll rises to 68

MCOT reports that the death toll in ongoing flooding here in Thailand has risen to 68:

The Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand on Thursday reported a total death toll of 68 from this month’s flooding, including 54 men and 14 women in 19 provinces Oct 10-28.

The highest number of deaths was recorded at 11 each in Lop Buri and Nakhon Sawan provinces and nine deaths in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Here’s some raw video — embedded below — of the flooding, courtesy of Thai network MCOT via CNN:

For historical perspective, embedded below is some footage that I understand depicts flooding here in Bangkok in 1942:

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in donating to help victims, the Bangkok Post has published account numbers for various groups providing relief.

(1942 video via @suthichai and @babyfishie.)

Map of Bangkok flooding embankments


Here’s a map of flooding embankments in Bangkok, courtesy of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, via today’s Bangkok Post. Full story and larger map are here. So far the city has not suffered major damage.

Here’s an AP story with the latest details. More info — mostly in Thai — is available at and the government’s official site,

Here’s a Google Map of the flooding throughout the country, embedded below.

View Thailand Flood in a larger map

And the Twitter hashtag, of course, is #thaiflood.

Previous posts on the subject are here.

Thailand flooding: Death toll rises to 41; parts of Bangkok near Chao Phraya river evacuated


Widespread flooding continues in northeast and central Thailand — and now parts of Bangkok near the Chao Phraya river have been flooded, as well. The death toll has risen to 41, with more than 2 million people affected.

Al Jazeera English: “Floods prompt Bangkok evacuation

Residents living near the main river that passes through the Thai capital Bangkok have been evacuated due to fears that the Chao Phraya could overflow following two weeks of flooding that has claimed at least 38 lives across the country.

Bangkok Post: “Flood relief gets a boost as damage tops B10bn

The government is planning to ease spending regulations and set up a relief centre as damage from the flooding tops 10 billion baht.

…and: “Flood toll rises to 41

At least 41 people have died in heavy flooding in 16 provinces since Oct 10, the National Institute of Emergency Management (NIEM) reported on Monday.

And earlier, The Nation had this: “Evacuation set to start

A plan has been drawn up to evacuate residents from riverside communities in 13 districts as the flood crisis intensified in Bangkok yesterday.

For ongoing info, see the #thaiflood hashtag on Twitter.

Previously: Here’s the Thailand flooding Google Map, and earlier posts are here and here.

Image: Bangkok Post.

Thailand flooding on Google Maps

Update two: For more posts about flooding in Thailand as of Sept., 2011, see the Thailand Flooding tag.

Update: This post is from Oct. 2010. For more recent flooding news, from March 2011, see this post.

As I mentioned here and here, Thailand has been hit by the worst flooding in decades. @thaitvnews has created this Google Map — embedded below — of affected areas. The map contains photos, links to videos, and Thai-language descriptions of the floods.

View Thailand Flood in a larger map

(Via TTR.)

More on flooding in Thailand [cross posted to Siam Voices]

Note: This is cross-posted to Siam Voices, a collaborative Thailand blog at Asian Correspondent.

Heavy rains have triggered the worst flooding in decades in central and northeast Thailand.

The New York Times had this story yesterday:

Devastating floods spreading from northeastern Thailand have left 17 people dead over the past two weeks as heavy rainfall has put entire villages underwater, destroyed crops and disrupted transportation and commerce.

Thailand’s relatively well-organized government services appeared to have been caught by surprise and in some areas overwhelmed, with some survivors stranded for days without government aid. Officials describe the flooding, which follows deadly inundations in Vietnam and other nearby countries, as the worst in half a century. Damage is estimated at more than $650 million.

This Thai-language TV report has footage of the flooding (embedded below):

And here are stories from VOA (“Asia Faces Rising Death Toll From Heavy Rains”) and Bloomberg (“Thailand Floods Kill 7 People, Spread to 13 Provinces; Transport Links Cut”).

Some other resources worth checking out:

— This Global Voices post has a map and a video of affected areas.

— A Bangkok Post graphic shows at-risk Bangkok areas — though so far there has been no serious flooding here in the Thai capital.

— A Thai-language site called ThaiFlood Situation has a map, reports, and alerts.

— Another Thai-language site with more info is

— On Twitter, people are using the #thaiflood hashtag to disseminate news about the situation.

— And, of course, for ongoing information, see the Bangkok Post and The Nation.

(All emphasis mine.)

Floods hit central and northeast Thailand


AFP yesterday: Flash floods kill seven in Thailand

The worst floods in decades in Thailand’s rural northeast have killed at least seven people and damaged homes, businesses and swathes of farmland, officials said Tuesday.

In worst-hit Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand’s biggest province, three people died and thousands of homes were flooded along with a hospital, which has been forced to evacuate patients in critical condition.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said twice as much rain had fallen compared with last year in the mountainous province about 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Bangkok.

“It’s the worst flood in 40 to 50 years in Nakhon Ratchasima,” he said.

Today’s Bangkok Post: Floods threaten six provinces:

Six Central Plains provinces have been placed on high alert against heavy flooding expected to be triggered by overflows from the North.

Provinces most vulnerable to the deluge are Sing Buri, Chai Nat, Ang Thong, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi, Royal Irrigation Department spokesman Boonsanong Suchatpong said yesterday.

The six provinces would be unable to avoid flooding as a vast amount of water from the North and from Pasak Jolasit Dam in Lop Buri was approaching.

The department is trying to drain as much water as possible from the Chao Phraya River basin before Saturday, when the sea water level will begin to rise because of king tides.

Reuters/AlterNet: Severe floods hit Thailand, crop damage limited

Flooding in Thailand has caused only slight damage to the rice and sugar crops, officials said on Tuesday, and while rubber output is currently restricted by rain, that is normal for this time of the year.

Flash floods in northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province have killed four people since Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the worst flooding in decades in the province and at least 2,000 families have been evacuated to higher ground, provincial Governor Rapi Pongboopakit said.

(Emphasis mine.)

Map: Bangkok Post. More images from the Post are here.

Map of Bangkok featuring district names


Andy, the author of the excellent blog Changwat, Amphoe, Tambon — a lovingly curated site that provides exhaustive information on Thailand’s administrative subdivisions — has created the cool map of Bangkok you see above. Here’s a bigger version.

The author was inspired, I’m happy to say, by a tweet I posted last year containing a link to Ork Posters, a company that produces typography-heavy U.S. city maps containing neighborhood names.

As Andy explains:

Luckily fellow Wikipedian hdamm already made a vector map for the districts of Bangkok, so all I had to do was to place the names on top of that. The main difficulty were the very small districts in the center of Bangkok, especially the tiny Samphanthawong with a long name. But nevertheless I think my map doesn’t look that bad, especially considering I just spend a few hours creating it and have no earlier record of being an artist or designer. There is probably still some room for fine-tuning the image, also a separate version with the names in the Thai alphabet might be worth considering, especially now I know the standard fonts for the Thai road signs. And of course one could do the same with any other of the 75 provinces, or for the whole country – but there the small provinces near Bangkok make it almost impossible to read.

Map above: Creative Commons licensed by Changwat, Amphoe, Tambon.

What does the rising baht mean to the Thai government and exporters?

For an examination of what the rising Thai baht — previous posts here and here — means to the Thai government and exporters, I suggest this post from James Harriman at Asian Correspondent:

Panic over the rising baht:

…The Thai baht has strengthened significantly versus the US dollar over the last year, as have most other Asian currencies. As of the second week of October, the baht is up 10.8 percent against the dollar, making it the strongest performing currency in Southeast Asia. Factors driving currency appreciations in the region include interest rate differentials with the US, current account surpluses, and positive investment sentiment on local stocks and bonds.

Market watchers anticipate the US Fed will flood the market with additional liquidity in the coming months, which will put further upward pressure on regional currencies.The graph below shows the performance of regional currencies versus the dollar over the last year. All regional currencies have appreciated with the exception of the Vietnamese Dong, which has depreciated almost 10.0 percent.


(Click through to the post to view a larger graph.)

FT on Thai capital controls as baht continues to soar

A brief Financial Times blog post worth checking out: Thai capital controls: more to come:

The Thai government’s attempts to relieve the upward pressure on the baht by reinstating a 15 per cent withholding tax on foreign bond holders has had little intended effect so far. On Tuesday the baht continued its inexorable climb hitting Bt29.82 after opening at Bt29.92, an increase of 0.3 per cent on the day.

Now, it looks as though government officials may be considering an additional tax on short-term fund flows, following the lead of their Brazilian counterparts.

The baht has appreciated by nearly 11 per cent against the dollar so far this year, rattling the exporters who account for 65 per cent of GDP.

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