Friday, October 28, 2011

Evacuation camps set up for residents fleeing city

Bangkok Post

The Flood Relief Operation Command has prepared shelters in nine provinces for Bangkok residents if the flood situation forces them to flee.

Among the nine provinces are Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Chachoengsao and Samut Sakhon.

In a televised address last night, spokesman Tongthong Chantarangsu said that Froc's preparations are for the worst-case scenario.

To speed up the evacuation, he advised communities to select a gathering point for residents. He said the Froc will issue a warning in advance and give the residents at risk of flood time to prepare if evacuation is called for.

He said in the worst case scenario the flood in Bangkok will last from 15 days to one month.

The announcement came as the flood situation deteriorated in several parts of Bangkok.

At least 85 per cent of Don Mueang Airport was under 50 centimetres of water.

Don Mueang Airport, which houses the Froc headquarters and an evacuation centre, suffered blackouts twice yesterday because of the rising floodwater.

The deluge surged into the entrance of Terminal 2 at about 4pm after a strong flood current destroyed a floodwall in the northern part of the airport.

Don Mueang airport director Kanphat Mangkhlasiri said he was concerned that floodwater might flow into the area where the airport's electricity distribution system is located.

He has asked the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to urgently repair the floodwall before floodwater reaches a wider area and before another massive volume of water reaches Bangkok.

Despite the grim situation, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has insisted that the Froc will not be relocated.

The flood level on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road was over 60cm in some spots, turning it into a grand canal and forcing public buses to be suspended.

Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday issued evacuation warnings to residents in all areas of Sai Mai and part of Thawi Wattana districts.

High tide in the Chao Phraya river continued to wreak havoc on riverside areas in Bang Phlat, Bangkok Noi and Phra Nakhon districts.

The governor advised city residents to keep abreast of the flood situation, saying evacuation is likely to be recommended in several areas.
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