Oct 12 2011
The next couple of days will be key in seeing whether Bangkok escapes the worst of floods that have now swelled across two-thirds of Thailand, though even if the city eludes the waters, the last three days of October will be another test, authorities say.
“Don’t underestimate the floods,” Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan said according to Bloomberg. “Anything can happen with the power of water. We must be ready.” Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra meanwhile said the floods could last another two months in many provinces, AP and Reuters reported.
But the news may at least be good for tourists if the waters do stay behind the bags in Bangkok — Yingluck predicted the capital’s inner districts will be safe, with new flood barriers erected from 1.5 million sandbags in the north of the city expected to be finished by Thursday. See yesterday’s post for the transport situation if you do plan on leaving the capital.
Suvarnabhumi, the city’s main airport, is actually built on a flood plain but authorities say it remains well protected by dykes and pumps — there’s a 23.5-kilometre earth dyke surrounding the airport.
On the economic front, get your khao pad now: rice prices look set to rise in the months ahead as production in Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, is curbed dramatically by the floods, and production in the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia is reduced as well, Bloomberg reports. Some are estimating a 5 million tonne reduction, pushing prices up by 21%.
Amid the mayhem, as flood victims in Ayutthaya scramble for dry land and food packages dropped from the sky, Bangkok residents wait in anxious anticipation of the flood. Some are stocking up on essentials, like water, instant noodles, and DVDs; some are compulsively refreshing the Flood Monitoring System page; but others are releasing tension by turning to Twitter.
Just like Beyoncés baby bump, the #BKKFlood (or #Floodpocalypse) is swelling all over Twitterland:
The @ACSBKK has taken a break from dealing with passport traumas to announce that Big C has generously offered their parking space:
In a time of crisis, like that time the Bronx Zoo Cobra escaped, someone always starts a new twitter account. @ThaiFloodEng has stepped up to the plate, translating helpful information for English speakers and creating a bad pun in the process.
@WrisJarrett, Bangkok food writer and restaurateur, worries for the Louis Vuitton’s of Bangkok’s finest.
@BangkokGovernor Sukhumbhand Paribatra is doing his part, updating his “Flood” album.
The @Asean_Newsroom translated a Thai Short News so Thai and English speakers alike know of South Korea’s humanitarian aid.
No mention of the #BKKFlood from @ThaiGoldPrice but prices are up:
Lastly — here, at least, as the Tweetstream rolls on like the waters to Bangkok — @Rajprasong_News is relieved there will be enough instant noodles (and MSG) to go around:
Please note none of the above photos were actually taken in Bangkok. So far no waterfalls have been found on Sukhumvit Road, the Grand Palace should be open and the airport transfers are not made of One Tambon One Product bamboo rafts.
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