Monday, October 17, 2011

US Embassy Thailand Braces for More Flooding In Central Bangkok

According to the US Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney, widespread flooding has now affected many of Thailand’s 76 provinces. More than 250 people have died and nearly 3 million people are affected. The Consulate in Chiang Mai was closed for several days last week also due to flooding.

The BBC reports that Thai military and civilian volunteers are continuing their efforts to try and stop Thailand's worst floods in decades from inundating the capital, Bangkok:
Canals have been drained to allow for excessive water flow and sandbags have been piled up around the city.

Officials say the next few days are critical as high tides and bad weather combine with the arrival of run-off water from northern Thailand.

North and central provinces have until now borne the brunt of the floods.

The United States has so far contributed 3 million baht to the Thai Red Cross for relief supplies. Through the US Embassy, it has also linked up Thai officials with US disaster management officials. And the US Marines sent a team of humanitarian experts to assess next steps in US assistance and brought thousands of sandbags for use by the Thai Government. USAID in the meantime, also has civilian disaster relief experts in Thailand to work with civilian authorities and NGOs on disaster assistance.

Ambassador Kenney greets U.S. Marines at Don Muang Airport.
The U.S. Marines are part of a Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team (HAST)
to determine how the U.S. might best provide assistance to
the people of Thailand with the current flooding
Photo from US Embassy Bangkok/FB

Aerial photo of flooded areas north of Bangkok.
Photo from US Embassy Bangkok/FB
More photos here

But more rain is reportedly expected with peak floods expected in central Bangkok between October 16-18. The US Embassy's American Citizen Services Unit has released the following message: 

The Bangkok Metropolitan area has experienced localized flooding in northern and eastern areas and most reports indicate that the flooding risk for the Bangkok area will peak between October 16 -18.  As a purely precautionary measure, U.S. citizens assigned to the Embassy who live approximately 12 kilometers north of central Bangkok in Nichida Thani have the option of relocating for a few days to central Bangkok until the anticipated peak flood period subsides, should they wish to do so.  Extensive flooding in Thailand, especially in Central Thailand between Bangkok and Sukhotai, has caused considerable damage and loss of life.  In many flooded areas, surface transportation has either been suspended or diverted around those areas.  Portions of highways are closed and bus and train services linking Bangkok with points to the north are suspended.
Read in full here.

ACS Bangkok is also on Twitter. Follow them here:!/ACSBKK

Check out the embassy's flood information here:

More photos of the flooding can be viewed here; photos are in FB so I cannot embed them here.

No comments: