October 27, 2020

Floodwaters seep into outer Bangkok as canals open


Pin It

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s prime minister urged Bangkok residents to get ready to move their belongings to higher ground Friday as the country’s worst floods in half a century began seeping into the capital’s outer districts.

The government has opened several key floodgates in a risky move to let built-up water flow through the canals toward the sea, and it’s not known how much the canals will overflow.

An Associated Press team Friday saw water entering homes in Bangkok’s northern Lak Si district, along the capital’s main Prapa canal. The water rose to knee-level in some places but damage so far was minor and not affecting Bangkok’s main business district.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters the Prapa canal was a big concern.

“I would like to ask people in all districts of Bangkok to get ready to move their belongings to higher ground as a precaution,” Yingluck said, while also urging people “not to panic.”

Yingluck invoked her powers under the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act giving her overriding authority over all other official bodies, including local governments, to fight the crisis.

The action should allow better coordination with the municipal authorities in Bangkok, who normally have legal authority to make their own decisions. It also helps project Yingluck as a take-charge leader, after weeks of seeming indecision and confusion.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind