Monday, November 7, 2011

Bangkok Flood Update

I'm still flood free, by the way, but Bangkok in general is still reeling from the whole flood experience.

It's still spreading, coming down from the north and in from the east and reaching areas of Bangkok proper. They finally closed the subway yesterday. The river defenses are holding up, but the entire west bank is under water. I'm on a high spot, twenty-one feet about sea level, so there's a chance that I'll escape altogether. These two coming weekends I'll be teaching at remote campuses, so I'm hoping that the airport stays open. It's surrounded by water too, east of the city, and the predictions for continued service are disturbingly vague. ("We're doing everything that we can!")

I spoke to lots of people at school today, and a few of them have been flooded out of their houses. One is sleeping in her office! My flood-affected colleagues are still getting paid at least, that's one good thing. We're government officials, a privileged minority, the checks keep coming.

Most people who have been affected by this flood season aren't so lucky. Lots of places, huge places, and millions of people, have been unable to work for up to three months now. That's a big problem in a country where, for most people, if you don't work, you don't get paid. Stores are closed, factories too, and rice fields are submerged. All of those people have been without an income for a while now.

The secondary effects of the flooding are starting to show up now. Water-born illnesses, especially in children who cannot resist playing in the water. Crocodile attacks, no lie! Hundreds of the things have escaped from crocodile farms. The no-money thing has really hit home too, suicides are being reported. Tempers are getting frayed, and the ramifications of these floods will be with us for a long, long time.


fred c said...

I'd attach a nice flood picture if I had one, but I'd have to go to the flood to get them. Well, Freddy don't play that, no sir! I don't go to the trouble. If the trouble comes to me, I'll have some pictures to put up.

Vince said...

Saw a photo in today's paper of a young boy wading through the water that was up to his neck, with the story addressing just how dangerously contaminated the water is. Not good.

fred c said...

That water has been standing around for a month or two now, up in those densely populated north-BKK neighborhoods. It's been through factories and farmyards and various sewers, etc. Bad scene.

Anonymous said...

A country doesn't need a flood to go into the shitcan. In the US we have had that "no money" thing for about 4 years now, maybe you've heard? In fact, many have homes that are "under water" or upside-down. Just because our eyes don't slant does not mean we're in any less misery. Who will come to our rescue?

Anonymous said...

Time to move to Ko-Rea!

Sad, though. Akin to a giant Katrina, yes?


fred c said...

It's like Katrina Light. In N'Orleans there was more water and it came up more suddenly, with the hurricane and the smashed dykes, like bang! right now. This thing took months to develop, it was a heavy rainy season but not so's you'd notice really, then it all took time to concentrate around the BKK area. But yeah, it's a big event.

Did they get the croc's in New Orleans? 'Gators, I suppose, down there. They might have.