in Thailand

Thailand flooding update October 24, 2011: Warning issued last night for more areas of northern Bangkok

Here’s an update as of 8 p.m. Bangkok time today, Mon. October 24, 2011:

Summary

  • Last night the Bangkok governor announced that a new area of Bangkok’s north is now under threat. This includes Don Mueang airport, the area near Chatuchak Weekend Market, and more. (See news stories below.)
  • Bloomberg reports that two nights ago, armed men prevented workers from constructing flood defenses in an area north of Bangkok. (More info below.)

New photo

Workers at businesses throughout the city — even in central Bangkok, which is not now thought to be at risk — continue to erect barriers to prevent potential floods.

Here’s a cell phone pic I snapped today of a sand band fortification outside a shopping center in the downtown Silom area:

2011 10 24 silom sandbags

New maps

Here are a couple of new maps I’ve come across.

This English language map shows the levels of elevation throughout Bangkok. It also shows flood barriers and canals:

2011 10 24 bangkok flooding map elevation

(Map via @bkkbase and available as a larger image online here.)

The map above may be based on this Thai-language map:

2011 10 24 thailand flooding elevation

A bigger version is online here.

News reports

The Bangkok Post has a brief item on the areas of northern Bangkok that are now at risk:

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration late Sunday night issued a warning for people in six districts to prepare for flooding as the huge flow of foodwater from the North continues its creep into the capital.

The six districts are Don Mueang, Lasksi, Bang Khen, Chatuchak, Bang Sue and Sai Mai.

The AP has details on the Bangkok governor’s announcement last night:

Bangkok Gov. Sukhumbhand Paribatra warned residents in a televised address late Sunday that a large volume of water was surging forward faster than expected and was threatening six districts as it moved closer to the city’s more developed areas, including the section near Chatuchuk weekend market, a popular shopping stop for tourists.

Sukhumbhand also said the waters were expected to swamp the Don Muang area just north of the city proper. The area is home to Bangkok’s old airport, which is now being used as headquarters for the anti-flood effort and a shelter for evacuees.

Bloomberg says:

Thai floodwaters spilled into northern Bangkok today after armed men stopped workers from building a sandbag levee and a water gate broke, elevating concerns the deluge will spread to inner parts of the capital.

And:

Two nights ago, “a few men with weapons” from areas north of the city where floodwaters are as high as three meters (10 feet) confronted Bangkok officials building a sandbag levee at a low-lying junction, spokesman Jate Sopitpongstorn said by phone today. The men destroyed the barrier, he said, allowing the water to flow from Pathum Thani province into Bangkok.

The WSJ has a story that touches on preventing floods in the future:

With Thailand’s leaders warning businesses and residents to expect massive floods to persist for at least another month, attention here now is turning to how this major global production hub can avert future crises—and whether it can revive the wetlands and forests that used to soak up past floods but which have now been given over to sprawling industrial estates and housing projects.

There’s also a good slideshow of flooding images.

(All emphasis mine.)

The standard reminders:

Stay tuned for more.