Tensions rise in flood-hit Bangkok

2011-10-31 14:20

kalahari.com

Bangkok - Tensions were rising between Thai residents and authorities in flooded parts of Bangkok on Monday, with hundreds protesting that their homes were being sacrificed in attempts to keep the city centre dry.

Police said 200 to 300 people gathered to demand the wider opening of a sluice gate in the northeast district of Khlong Sam Wa, but the officials held firm and at one point formed a human chain to keep back the villagers.

"The FROC (Flood Relief Operations Centre) has asked the army to send personnel to areas where it has conflicts. The army has sent 200 military police to back up police forces," said Defence Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha.

Hopes are growing that central Bangkok will be spared from major inundation after barriers along Bangkok's swollen Chao Phraya River prevented a major overflow during a spring high tide over the weekend.

Tensions between public, authorities

But the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the situation remained "critical" in several flooded districts in northern and western city areas, some with water levels rising above a metre.

"Meanwhile, tensions are being reported between the authorities and local residents who fear that floodwalls are preventing water from draining out of their districts," the OCHA statement said.

It said a group of residents destroyed a dyke in northern Don Mueang on Saturday, causing a huge volume of floodwater to flow into the Prapa canal, which supplies tap water to Bangkok.

"The military has deployed 50 000 troops across the country to guard and maintain the flood barriers," said the statement.

Villagers in Khlong Sam Wa, who also blocked two roads on their second day of protest on Monday, said they were paying the price to keep Thailand's capital and economic heartland free from the kingdom's worst flooding in decades.

"My house has been flooded for two months now and in the last two weeks it's got worse," Samorn Sohwiset, 43, told AFP. "I'll stay here until they open the gate."

‘Long-term plan’

Another young male villager, who was digging an irrigation channel to bypass the gate and allow water to pass to the other side, said officials only cared "for the rich people".

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said that fully opening the gates would threaten key areas of the capital.

"We don't want a group of people to affect our long-term plan," said BMA spokesperson Jate Sopitpongstorn. "We take care of the overall situation."

The three-month crisis - triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains - has left at least 381 people dead around the kingdom and damaged millions of homes and livelihoods, mostly in northern and central Thailand.

Carmakers stop production

The crisis has forced the shutdown of thousands of inundated factories, disrupting supply chains and putting more than half a million people temporarily out of work.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government had made plans to rehabilitate industrial estates, but that it could take three months to get them up-and-running as normal.

Japanese automaker Honda on Monday held off giving an earnings forecast for the year ending March 2012 as it continued to assess the impact on its operations of the Thai floods, which have forced it to halt production there.

Read more on:    thailand  |  floods  |  natural disasters
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:10 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    ACCIDENT obstructing two lanes before Hospital Bend - HEAVY DELAYS from Duinefontein Road
  • Wednesday Paarden Eiland - 09:02 AM
    Road name: Marine Drive Inbound
    DELAYS approaching the N1 Highway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.