Bangkok river in flood, inundates Grand Palace

Bangkok river in flood, inundates Grand Palace

Residents use an improvised raft as they move to safer places along a flooded area in Bangkok on Saturday. AP

The amount of water entering the palace grounds was small, but the breach was symbolically significant as Bangkok enters a crucial period when high tides to the south are pushing back at runoff from the north that has breached the city’s outer defences and is now flooding some outlying districts.

“The crisis we’re facing today is the most critical natural disaster that ever happened in Thai history,” Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said.

Chinatown, not far from the palace, was flooded, and concerns grew that floodwaters could reach the commercial center of the city, with its banks and shopping malls and five-star hotels, scene of the “red shirt” protests early last year that were Thailand’s most recent crisis.

The commercial centre was quiet on Friday as Bangkok residents continued to flee by the thousands after the government warned that there was little more that it could do to stop the deluge.

“What we’re doing today is resisting the force of nature,” the prime minister had said on Thursday. “We cannot resist all of it.” A huge mass of flood water has coursed down over recent weeks from the north, following an unusually heavy monsoon season, taking a steep economic toll as it inundated cities and industrial estates.

Several feet of stagnant water continue to paralyse the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, to the north of Bangkok.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)