Thai authorities warned people living on the banks of the Chao Phraya river to prepare to evacuate as water levels reached a record and floodwaters began spilling into the nation’s capital.
About 4 billion cubic meters of water is approaching Bangkok, boosting levels in the Chao Phraya to 2.30 meters (7.5 feet) above sea level, exceeding the 2.27-meter peak reached in 1995, Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra wrote on his official Facebook page late yesterday. The city has an average elevation of less than 2 meters above sea level.
Efforts to bolster levees to protect Bangkok, which sits on a river basin the size of Florida that drains into the Gulf of Thailand, have slowed the dispersal of floodwaters that swamped farms and manufacturing hubs north of the city. The deluge has spurred tension between residents living outside flood barriers who want the water drained quickly to the gulf, and Bangkok inhabitants aiming to protect the capital.