Bangkok floods inevitable, Thai PM says

October 21st, 2011 - 5:28 am ICT by BNO News  

BANGKOK (BNO NEWS) — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday said that it is impossible to protect all of Bangkok from the country’s worst floods in decades, describing the situation as a “national crisis”, the Bangkok Post reported.

The Thai government has reinforced the city’s flood walls in an attempt to protect the densely populated city. However, Yingluck said that they “cannot block the water forever” and they will choose which parts of the city to allow the water through to minimize the impact.

“The longer we block the water the higher it gets,” she said. “We need areas that water can be drained through so the water can flow out to the sea.”

Inner Bangkok has so far escaped major flooding as authorities divert water to areas outside the main capital, but efforts to keep the city of 12 million people dry have been complicated by a seasonal high tide. “Flood waters are coming from every direction and we cannot control them because it’s a huge amount of water. We will try to warn people,” Yingluck said.

Thailand has been hit by unusually heavy monsoon rains in the past months, killing at least 320 people in flood-related incidents and affecting thousands of villages. Currently, about one-third of Thailand’s provinces are affected.

In April and May, Thailand was also hit by flooding in the country’s southern region, causing billions in damages to their fishing industry, industrial sector, tourism, and business and trade, among other areas.

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