Thailand flooding reaches capital; residents flee in droves

October 27, 2011

Tens of thousands of Bangkok residents are fleeing the city after the worst flooding Thailand has seen in half a century reached the capital.

GALLERY: Click the image above to view photos of Thailand’s flooding.

The city’s governor ordered residents of two swamped northern districts to evacuate for safer city shelters, and waist-high water turned Bangkok’s roads into rivers and washed over homes and businesses.

Some lucky city residents escaped on military trucks and buses, while others had to make do on paddle boats, plastic tubs, inner tubes and rubber rafts. Several men, the AP reports, “floated down a flooded road in a makeshift boat made of empty oil barrels tied to a rectangular plank.”

Those who haven’t yet left the city are trying to fortify their residences with sandbags, bricks, gypsum board and plastic sheets.

The below NASA satellite photo, taken on Oct. 23 by ASTER, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer instrument, shows the floodwaters approaching the city.

Vegetation is displayed in red, and flooded areas are shown in black and dark blue. The brighter blue indicates water that is laden with sediment. The gray areas are houses, buildings and roads.


This image of Bangkok’s flooding covers an area of 35.2 by 66.3 miles and is located at 14.5 degrees north latitude, 100.5 degrees east longitude. (NASA)

Since the flooding began in July, it has claimed the lives of 373 people and racked up billions of dollars in damage.

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