Thailand flooding update October 26, 2011: All of Bangkok is vulnerable, says Bangkok governor

Here’s the latest as of 8 p.m. Bangkok time today, Wed. October 26, 2011:


  • Bangkok’s governor said today that all of Bangkok could be hit by flooding. According to an official news agency, he said a large amount of water could arrive tonight (Wed. night).

    The governor reportedly said areas along the Chao Phraya river and in Bangkok’s north and east are especially vulnerable. (See MCOT story below.)

  • Bangkok residents are increasingly leaving the city and building their own flood defenses. (See AP story below.)

New map

Today’s Bangkok Post has an English language version of the “worst case scenario” flooding map I mentioned yesterday:

2011 10 26 bangkok floods wcs

Here’s a slightly bigger version.

News reports

The official MCOT reports:

Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra on Wednesday warned city dwellers in all 50 districts to brace for flooding as a significant portion of the backed up floodwater from the North is arriving the capital tonight.

The governor made the announcement as he inspected the water level in Chao Phraya River, which he said is likely to be at 2.40 metres above mean sea level.

Mr Sukhumbhand alerted the public that floodwater from the North is also arriving Bangkok Wednesday night, bringing the situation to a critical point.

The governor said he has instructed all 50 districts to be prepared for flooding and expressed concern for 13 specially at-risk areas along the Chao Phraya River, as well as districts in northern and eastern Bangkok, including Lad Krabang, Nong Chok, Min Buri, Khlong Sam Wa, Khan Na Yao, Bang Khen, Sai Mai, Don Mueang, Chatuchak, and Bang Sue.

The AP has this story:

Bangkok residents jammed bus stations and highways on Wednesday to flee the flood-threatened Thai capital, while others built cement walls to protect their shops or homes from advancing waters surging from the country’s flooded north.

The NYT reported yesterday:

Bangkok’s flood defenses continued to fall on Wednesday as floodwaters pressed farther into the city after forcing the closing of the domestic airport. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra warned that there could be as much as five feet of flooding in some areas.

The NYT has this today:

Hundreds of inmates were evacuated from prisons around Bangkok on Wednesday, and residents stocked up on food or made plans to leave the city as officials warned of severe flooding throughout much of the capital in the coming days.

Reuters reports:

Floodwater swamped a new area of Thailand’s capital on Wednesday as some shops started rationing food and the prime minister warned that parts of Bangkok could be flooded for up to a month.

Residents of Bang Phlad, a riverside district some way from Bangkok’s three swamped northern districts, were told to urgently evacuate as floods hit the capital on a second front, deepening anxiety in the city of at least 12 million people, many of whom were expected to flee ahead of a special five-day holiday.

The WSJ‘s Southeast Asia Real Time says:

>Water-delivery companies have suspended operations because their filtration plants north of Bangkok have been swamped, while retailers posted notes apologizing for the lack of water on supermarket shelves. Other key supplies that are running low include rice, noodles, diapers, powdered milk and cat food.

(All emphasis mine.)

Travel advice

Finally, a word about travel advice. Many folks have written to me to ask whether they should travel to Thailand now or in days ahead.

I am unable to offer advice since things are changing quickly on the ground and no one can predict precisely what will happen next.

However, I would suggest checking out this post at the travel site It lists the current status of transportation systems in Thailand and suggests various travel options.

The standard reminders:

Stay tuned for more.

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