Thailand flooding update October 27, 2011: People increasingly leaving, but potential impact to central Bangkok still unclear

Here’s the latest as of 9 p.m. Bangkok time today, Thurs. October 27, 2011:

Summary

  • More and more people are evacuating Bangkok, with areas outside the city severely affected.
  • However, it is still unclear if, when, or to what extent central Bangkok will be hit.
  • Some reports say Bangkok officials have said the worst may be yet to come.

New maps

Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) has this satellite image of water surrounding Bangkok.

The map is in Thai, and appears to be from Oct. 23. It paints a pretty clear picture of how much water has yet to be drained:

2011 10 27 bangkok flooding sat image

The original image is online here (warning: it’s a very large file).

More info and maps are available — in Thai — on the GISTDA site here.

Here’s another telling image from NASA’s Earth Observatory site.

The first image shows Bangkok two days ago, on Oct. 25th.

The second image shows what I take to be normal conditions:

2011 10 27 thailand flooding sat image nasa

More images are available online here.

News reports

The AP says:

Clamoring aboard bamboo rafts and army trucks, residents living on the heavily inundated outskirts of Bangkok fled waterlogged homes Thursday as floodwaters inched closer to the heart of the threatened Thai capital and foreign governments urged their citizens to avoid all but essential travel.

Bloomberg reports:

Matthew Lobner, head of Thai operations for HSBC Holdings Plc, lugged his furniture upstairs and moved his wife and three children near his office in downtown Bangkok to escape floodwaters on the city’s outskirts.

Lobner, drawing on his eight years as a naval submarine officer, stored enough food and water to last a month, along with a Nintendo Wii to keep his kids entertained. Europe’s biggest bank is giving all local employees the option of moving their families from areas threatened by flooding, he said.

Another Bloomberg story says:

Thailand’s government said it is losing the battle to protect Bangkok from rising floodwaters, and plans to open evacuation centers in eight provinces as the deluge forces more residents to give up their homes.

“The flooding is beyond our control now,” said Pracha Promnog, who heads the government’s flood relief operations. “The main wave of water hasn’t arrived in Bangkok yet.”

The WSJ’s Southeast Asia Real Time reports:

The lions, tigers, camels and giraffes can stay. The deer and chamois, though, must go.

That’s the word for now at the Dusit Zoo, a landmark in Bangkok’s leafy Dusit district, which is among the many parts of the city that have gone partly underwater amid Thailand’s worst floods in decades.

(All emphasis mine.)

The standard reminders:

Stay tuned for more.

Published 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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