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Thailand flooding update: death toll rises to 100; allegations of corruption in relief spending

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Here’s an AFP story from Saturday: Death toll from Thai floods hits 100:

The death toll from severe floods in Thailand has risen to 100, including at least three foreigners, although the waters have receded in some areas, officials said on Saturday.

Six more people have died in the disaster, which began on October 10, the Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand said in its daily update.

Among them was a 38-year-old Dutchman, named as Harald Vusser, who was electrocuted or drowned in Ayutthaya province just north of Bangkok on Friday, it said.

Local media reported he was helping his Thai wife move her belongings to a dry place.

The other foreign victims were a 44-year-old Cambodian woman who was killed in a mudslide earlier this month on Koh Chang island in Trat province, and a two-year-old Burmese boy who drowned in Phathum Thani.

Authorities said 22 of Thailand’s 76 provinces were still flooded, while the waters had receded in 16 others.

And there’s this, about Bangkok:

Bangkok has been on standby with thousands of sandbags and pumps as flood water from the north runs downstream and could coincide with high tide.

So far the capital has avoided major flooding, although more than 1000 homes along the Chao Phraya have been partially submerged.

Another story to have emerged in recent days is this one, from Saturday’s Bangkok Post: Graft agency checks flood cash:

A graft busting agency will step up its investigations into claims of corruption in the relief effort as billions of baht pour into flood-ravaged provinces.

Ampol Wongsiri, deputy secretary-general of the Public Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), yesterday said five teams of investigators would head to flood-hit provinces to ensure transparency in flood relief spending.

Their focus will be on provinces that require funds of 50-100 million baht as emergency assistance for flood victims.

A recent PACC investigation found that less than 10% of disaster relief funds reached those in need.

For more, see this Siam Voices post: Flood relief opens new opportunities for corrupution.

And just a reminder: previous posts about Thailand flooding are here.

(All emphasis mine.)

Image: Bangkok Post.

By Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I'm reading, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. For updates, get my weekly email newsletter.

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