Thailand govt urged to take long-term plans against floods

The Thai capital Bangkok and central areas are bracing for heavy flooding this week.

Flood waters have turned districts in Ayutthaya province into islands.

And rescue workers have received many calls for help.

“If more than five minutes pass, the chance of survival is zero percent. It happens often but we don’t want them to occur at all.

“For people who live along the river, cases of drowning are high, especially for kids that live with the elderly or kids whose parents go to work. It occurs in a split second,” said Somsak Taweepornmongkol, rescue volunteer of Putthaisawan Foundation Ayutthaya.

Flooding is devastating on so many levels. In a house six people live in, all crammed into their tiny room on the second floor.

Affected by the flood, parents and kids have suspended all of their work and study as they can’t go to office and school respectively.

“My dream is to elevate the house so my parents and my children can live comfortably. But it might not happen so we will have to live like this. We just have to tolerate living like this,” said Yaowadee Kraiperm, a local resident.

Like a brick resting on top of a cake, Bangkok sits on marshland, becoming spongy and soft. Materials including steel, concrete and humanity are sinking this city into the Earth, around 2cm per year.

Expert calls on the government to take long-term plans to deal with such terrible situation.

“Climate change is exacerbating the intensity of flooding events in Thailand. It will get more severe.

“We must have long-term plans. The warning signs have been there since 2011, but we haven’t thought of solutions,” said Thanawat Jarupongsakul, president of Thailand Global Warming Academy. — The Nation/ANN

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