Bangkok: The Thai capital needs 1.2 million
sandbags to construct a 6-kilometre (3.7-mile) wall within 48
hours to keep encroaching floods from swamping into the city,
Bangkok`s governor said.
"Every second counts," said Sukhumbhand Paribatra, whose
call for city residents not to let down their guard posed a
contrast to government statements in the morning that the
flood threat to Bangkok appeared to be easing.
Sukhumbhand said barriers had to be built up at several
canals carrying overflow water from Pathum Thani province just
north of Bangkok, where soldiers joined volunteers in trying
to save the country`s oldest industrial estate from being
Sukhumbhand has consistently taken a more cautious view
of the flooding threat than the government of Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra, who also heads a rival political party.
Officials in charge of fighting the flood had suggested
earlier today that Bangkok would be spared thanks to the
city`s complex system of flood walls, canals, dikes and
underground tunnels that help divert vast pools of runoff
south into the Gulf of Thailand.
Relentless monsoon rains that began in late July have
affected two-thirds of the country, drowning agricultural
land, swamping hundreds of factories and swallowing low-lying
villages along the way. The nationwide death toll has risen
rose to 307, mostly from drowning.
Outside the capital, thousands of people remain displaced
and hungry residents were struggling to survive in
half-submerged towns. The military has been mobilized to help
deliver relief supplies to stranded residents.
The potential economic costs were underlined in the
effort today to save the Nava Nakorn industrial estate in
Pathum Thani, Thailand`s oldest factory park.