Tens of thousands of Thais are being displaced in the worst flooding to hit this Southeast Asian nation in decades. More than 220 fatalities have already been reported by authorities and there are growing fears that the Chao Phraya river could burst its banks and flood the capital Bangkok.
On 10 October the ECHO's Regional Support Office in Bangkok sent out an assessment team with the IFRC to Lopburi and Chainat provinces, the worst affected areas just north of the capital. The team was able to witness the wide spread flooding that has been caused by weeks of exceptionally strong monsoon rains. Thousands of acres of rice fields have been flooded, entire towns and villages inundated, and hundreds of thousands of people forced to seek shelter at relief centres set up by local authorities and the Thai Red Cross. Emergency food stocks and other items are available but some villagers are reportedly struggling to evacuate their homes due to rapid rising floodwaters. Many are also concerned that their belongings will be looted if they leave their properties unguarded.
Water levels on some of the main dams have also reached critical levels forcing authorities to open sluice gates to relieve the pressure on the dam wall while adding more water to the already flooded areas. Emergency services are being deployed to all affected areas and even the military has been mobilised to help shore-up flood defences.
Photo story by EC/ECHO/Mathias Eick, 2011
Photo credit: (1-5 & 7-12) EC/ECHO/Phumphat Chaiyanonth,
(6 & 13) EC/ECHO/David Verboom