Thailand flooding update October 19, 2011: Tips for tourists, a new map, and more

Here’s an update as of 11:30 a.m. today, October 19, 2011:

Tips for Tourists

I have received several emails from folks asking whether it’s still a good idea to visit to Thailand.

Obviously, I would not recommend tourists travel to central Thailand — and cities like Ayutthaya — since it’s been hard hit by flooding.

But as I’ve written here in my various Thailand flooding posts of late, central Bangkok has largely not been affected.

Other parts of the city, especially the north, have been hit by floods and are still at risk.

For other parts of Thailand, like the beaches in the south or Chiang Mai in the north, I suggest checking with the hotel or resort at which you’ll be staying. These areas have not been hit hard, but it can’t hurt to check and/or double check conditions on the ground.

So far, Bangkok’s international airport, Suvarnabhumi, has not been affected. But continue monitoring the news in case that changes.

I also suggest consulting official sources like the government’s Public Relations Department. Here is their announcement today.

And here’s is today’s statement from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

And as always, other sources for updates include:

New Map

Today’s Nation has this map of Bangkok:

2011 10 19 bangkok flooding map

News Reports

Bloomberg reports today:

Thousands of volunteers bolstered floodwalls in Bangkok, boosting confidence among officials tasked with protecting Thailand’s capital from a surge of water that has shut factories and disrupted supply chains across Asia.

And the AP says:

Thai authorities were staging a fighting retreat Wednesday against flood waters that threaten Bangkok, after the country’s oldest factory park was completely inundated and a nearby one faced imminent threat.

Meanwhile, the WSJ has a story on Prime Minister Yingluck, the floods, and what one analyst calls a “leadership crisis”:

BANGKOK—Recriminations over the handling of Thailand’s worst floods in half a century are causing fresh setbacks for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as the financial cost of the disaster continues to mount and her government firmed up plans to inject billions of dollars to shore up the country’s faltering economy.

Ms. Yingluck’s biggest problem, analysts say, is the haphazard way information about the flood has been released, summed up by the science minister’s hasty call last week for evacuating part of the capital.

As ever, stay tuned.

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Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal, based in New Delhi. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I read, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. Join the growing group of readers who get my weekly email newsletter.

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  1. This being Thailand, nobody in charge wants to tell the public the bad news.

    I left Bangkok yesterday. I don’t want to be in the city when the flood hits. Take a look at the map here and select “flood extents”. Then tell me how this enormous body of water upcountry can pass by Bangkok to the sea without flooding it. Even if it stopped raining now it would take weeks for the water to pass by Bangkok. It is unlikely that the city can remain dry with floodwater on four sides. There can be disruption of communications and electricity in Bangkok, and don’t count on the airport remaining open through all of this.