October 21, 2011
Thailand’s prime minister has urged Bangkok residents to get ready to move their belongings to higher ground as the country’s worst floods in half a century begin seeping into the capital’s outer districts.
The warning came one day after the government opened several floodgates in a risky bid to let built-up water flow through the city’s canals toward the sea. Authorities had said the canals could overflow but it was not known to what extent.
Water has entered homes in Bangkok’s northern Lak Si district, which is located along the capital’s main Prapa canal. The water rose to knee height in some places but damage was minor and had not yet affected Bangkok’s main business district.
Yingluck Shinawatra, the prime minister, told reporters the Prapa canal was a big concern as the water had risen significantly overnight. “I would like to ask people in all districts of Bangkok to get ready to move their belongings to higher ground as a precaution,” Yingluck said, adding that people should not panic.