4/11/2011 - After battling wide-spread flooding for the past 2 months, municipal officials now warn that all 50 districts of Bangkok could be flooded. Concerted efforts by thousands of volunteers, soldiers and those affected by the floods to divert the rising deluge to the west and east of the capital appear to have had only limited success.
Mathias Eick, the European Commission's Regional Information officer for Humanitarian Assistance and Civil Protection in Southeast Asia saw how floodwaters are now flowing south towards the Chatuchak Weekend Market, well known to the millions of foreign tourists who visit Bangkok every year: "The market is closed and its entrances have been sealed off with sandbags. Less than two kilometres north of the market, the main road is knee deep in a brown torrent. All kinds of municipal and military vehicles are coming south carrying people who had to abandon their homes, now with nothing more than the few possessions they can carry. Some traders are making a roaring business selling rubber boots to bystanders. Local inhabitants are making a desperate last stand against the floods by lifting manhole covers hoping that this will stop the flood waters from spreading".
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has already committed over €1.5 million to fund humanitarian assistance to those affected by the floods in Thailand. This is part of a €10 million regional commitment to assist those affected by floods and storms in the past two months in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Photos and story by EC/ECHO/Mathias Eick, 2011