Heavy monsoon rains have afflicted South and South East Asia since mid-July, causing mudslides; wide spread flooding and claiming the lives of more than 370 people in Thailand.
This is Thailand’s worst flooding for half a century with 2.5 million people affected across the country. There is a serious risk of attacks by crocodiles and snakes as the water rises and moves into urban areas. Food and water stocks in retail shops are depleted due to panic buying and prices are set to rise.
The situation has now become more urgent with flooding reaching 2.47 metres above sea level in Bangkok, a city with more than 8 million people. Seven districts in the north of the city are flooded and residents have been told to evacuate. The government has declared a five day holiday, running from yesterday to this coming Monday, in Bangkok and 20 provinces affected by the flooding to help residents tackle the situation.
The Thai defence ministry said 50,000 armed forces personnel were standing by with 1,000 boats and 1,000 vehicles to help evacuate people. A government crisis centre said there would soon be evacuation centres in eight provinces that could take in between 100,000 and 200,000 people.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office have issued an update on travel to the country advising against all but essential travel to the city of Bangkok and the 26 provinces in Thailand affected by flooding.
DEC member agencies have international branches which are currently working to assist people with delivery by boat of food and relief kits. Plan International, ActionAid, AgeUK, World Vision are working directly or though partners in Thailand/Bangkok along with the Red Cross.
The DEC is monitoring developments in Bangkok and will be highlighting the work our members and their partners are doing via the DEC Twitter page.