Bangkok Floods
October 25, 2011 7:31 PM   Subscribe

So the message of the video is "there's a right lot of water, and it ain't going nowhere fast, but as nobody's got a clue how bad it might get, it would be stupid to panic."

I hope this isn't a government vid. Poor Yingluck.
posted by Jehan at 7:48 PM on October 25, 2011

That's a lot of whales. What is the unit of measurement of the blue whale?
posted by Chuffy at 8:05 PM on October 25, 2011

Same same, but different.
posted by iamabot at 8:31 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Trippy little whales. But I think if I were in Bangkok I'd be on a plane right now...
posted by jrochest at 8:46 PM on October 25, 2011

How much worse would this get if average temperatures increased? I'm guessing a small increase in rainfall would mean a big increase in flood depth and duration, but would higher global temperatures actually mean increased monsoonal rainfall?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:14 PM on October 25, 2011

Was that Kenny from South Park? I hope these whales will stop invading so they can deal with all the flood water.
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:09 AM on October 26, 2011

Here's an update from Newley Purnell, who is doing great reporting on the situation there.

It includes this worst case scenario map from the Bangkok Post.
posted by sharkfu at 8:05 AM on October 26, 2011

42 photos of Bangkok flooding from The Atlantic's In Focus photo blog.
posted by sharkfu at 9:40 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

My uncle's family is in Bangkok now. Uncle is a senior executive in a hardware firm you've heard of; the waters have breached the walls at their Ayyuthayya factory. It's 2.5m outside the walls, and 2m inside.

They live in a north Bangkok suburb a bit of a distance away from the old Don Muang airport; while their suburb isn't affected as yet, the company has nevertheless moved them to an apartment in central Bangkok.

The sense I get from speaking with him and following Bangkok Post is that the authorities have pretty much given up on eastern Bangkok in favor of protecting downtown Bangkok; anybody's guess as to what happens to west Bangkok. We're all waiting to see what happens next; the hope is that this will all subside in a week.

(All this was as of Monday; I suppose things change on a daily basis)
posted by the cydonian at 9:45 AM on October 26, 2011

Here's an update from Newley Purnell, who is doing great reporting on the situation there.

And indeed it has. I suppose I need to call my uncle up the first thing tomorrow morning. Here's hoping the mobile networks aren't affected.
posted by the cydonian at 9:48 AM on October 26, 2011

Not to hog the thread, but for anyone still reading this thread, here's what my aunt had to say about floods in BKK on email:

Not sure why but phone lines did not work last night. We are still safe and dry.

Our [gated community] has sent out email stating that the flood waters- if breached- will come on Saturday night. Their staff is on duty 24/7 as they have asked their staff to stay in the complex with their families and they will provide 3 meals a day to staff and families-- they have also stopped watering the plants etc, so that the ground is really dry. They have dug canals outside the community, emptied [a nearby waterbody] by atleast 5 meters - my friends think that the fish are now dying because there is not enough water/oxygen. [Water] levels are definitely low [in the water-body]. They have advised residents to stock up on water and essentials and to use water filters if we have them. Government has increased the quantity of chlorine in the water so just boiling tap water should also be ok. -

our neighborhood grocery store still has food- like bread etc but no bottled water. Our water delivery guy and milk delivery guy came yesterday and we are stocked up with decent quantities. They also mentioned that we will have electricity unless the main supply line located outside the community gets flooded. We have a clinic just outside our community and their pharmacy is still stocked up. We have also filled our 2 bath tubs with water for general use and fill the third one our Sat morning. Thai government is thinking of blasting off 5 roads to create more avenues for water to drain through- Not sure the science behind it.

I do not think our community will see lots of water- may be 50 cm- 1m high - so about knee deep in worst scenario but our community is very well protected- so don't think that is a concern. Major concern will be no electricity--

I think it is best to stay put as friends in downtown area are reporting no bottled water is available and they are boiling water for drinking.


This was from north Bangkok as of today morning. Their community is on a slightly higher ground; the calculation for them is that it's perhaps better to stay put than to attempt going elsewhere.

This is the plan that my aunt was talking about. Frankly, I'm not sure about that myself; seems more desperate than well thought-out.

You have to remember that the flood waters generally come slowly, except of course, if a barrier breaks.

Chatuchak (their site) has been evacuated.

Waters have entered Bangkok's old international airport, Don Muang airport, which also doubles as a command center for the flood relief operations. They're staying put there.

Bangkok Post itself is affected by the floods.

Here's a (Thai) satellite map(couple of megs) showing the extent of flooding now. Pics from NASA too if you only want the overall picture and not the details.

All in all, the weekend is key, possibly where it'll be the worst; that's when the tide flows in from the south and meets the floodwaters from the north. Crossing fingers.
posted by the cydonian at 10:28 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks; I have friends there.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:01 PM on October 27, 2011

Thanks for the update, cydonian. I hope your family remains safe.
posted by sharkfu at 11:36 PM on October 27, 2011

More updates:

1) Flood Relief Operations Center had been relocated at the last moment from Don Muang airport, which is now well under-water.

2) Central Bangkok has more or less withstood the expected weekend surge, although the ancient suburb of Thon Buri - the Bangkok of charming waterways, floating markets and rural tranquility, across the Chao Praya river from the Rattanakosin district where the Grand Palace and the tourist ghetto Khao San Road lie - is heavily affected; some say the flood-waters could remain at least for a month.

Curbs on drinking water supplies are already in place in west Bangkok.
posted by the cydonian at 10:38 AM on October 30, 2011

41 more photos at In Focus.
posted by sharkfu at 12:40 PM on October 31, 2011

And at The Big Picture: Thailand flood reaches Bangkok
posted by homunculus at 10:10 AM on November 4, 2011

Thai Flood Hacks
posted by homunculus at 4:45 PM on November 15, 2011

Newley Purcell's Thailand flooding update November 16, 2011.

Of note:

Flood waters in Thailand’s capital are continually receding and all main streets will be dry in two weeks, authorities said Wednesday, providing long-overdue good news after months of inundation that have killed 564 people nationwide.

Also Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce a “substantial” aid package when she arrives on a hastily arranged trip to express solidarity, officials said.

WSJ‘s Southeast Asia Real Time:
Thailand’s transport authorities have a fresh flood problem — people are putting metal spikes on submerged roads.

In some parts of the country, unknown persons have placed spikes on the road in an apparent bid to puncture vehicle tires and prevent buses and supply trucks getting in and out of affected areas. Some officials suspect profiteers selling basic goods at inflated prices are to blame as they try to prevent relief efforts getting to badly affected areas. Others say boat operators might be sabotaging the relief effort because the arrival of trucks in flooded areas threatens their business.

posted by sharkfu at 10:23 PM on November 15, 2011

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