Millions of people in the Thai capital nervously prepared for the advancing and seemingly unstoppable flood waters Monday after a fresh warning for residents to evacuate certain danger zones.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) said late last night that large volumes of water were flowing towards low-lying Bangkok and were closing in on six city districts, including areas just north of the city centre.
The announcement came after the Thai government said it would set up a distribution center in Bangkok to help replenish empty supermarket shelves in preparation for the floods that have so far largely spared the capital.
Other parts of the country have been plagued by three months of heavy monsoon rains, which have killed more than 350 people in Thailand and damaged the homes and livelihoods of nine million people.
The six Bangkok districts now of pressing concern include Chatujak, home to a giant weekend market popular with tourists, and Don Mueang, where the city’s second largest airport is currently doubling up as a flood refuge centre.
The BMA on Sunday called on residents in these areas who faced “potential dangers to lives and properties” to evacuate to emergency shelters.
Authorities are desperately trying to drain billions of cubic metres of water from upcountry out to sea through rivers and canals in and around the city by opening sluice gates in the capital — a risky strategy.
Yingluck said the city should prepare for possible inundation up to three feet deep and warned it could take six weeks for the flooding to recede.
Across the country, more than 110,000 evacuees have been forced to seek refuge in 1,743 shelters to escape the waters.
Most of Thailand’s top tourist destinations and the capital’s main airport have so far been unaffected.
Pray for the people and animals!