Thai PM’s 3-layered strategy to deal with floods
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 08, 2011, 21:15
Bangkok: As swirling flood waters, mounting garbage dumps and empty supermarket shelves continued to torment the flood-hit Thais, the government today laid out a three-pronged strategy to reconstruct the country following its worst deluge in decades.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told a press conference here that the plan would be implemented in three stages and as a primary step a Flood Relief Operations Command would be set up to integrate efforts by all agencies to combat the floods and solve immediate problems.

The floods, worst in decades, have claimed 527 lives and rendered millions homeless.

Parts of Bangkok and some surrounding provinces were still flooded, but the floodwater in some areas in the lower north had begun to recede.

Central downtown Bangkok, home to hotels, malls and high rise condominiums, is still dry though flood waters were just a few kms away.

Packaged water and dry food has almost vanished from supermarket shelves while there is a drop in tourist arrivals. The country's domestic airport is under water and closed but the international Suvarnabhumi airport remains open.

"The country is now entering a stage where remedies and rehabilitation can restore the people's confidence. The government has come up with a strategic plan for national reconstruction," the prime minister said.

Yingluck, who became Thailand's first woman premier after taking office in August, said in the first stage would involve the flood centre solving various urgent problems, distributing relief items to the flood victims, and providing medical treatment for people at all evacuation centres.

The second stage, to be carried out while the floodwater was receding or after it had receded, would centre on bringing every system back to normal as soon as possible.

Measures to be taken at this stage included compensation for damage and loans and other privileges for affected individuals and the affected business sector.

The third stage involved meting out solutions to solve problems in the long run and to prepare the country to cope effectively with climate change and water management.

The handling of the floods has upset people stuck in flooded areas and a Bangkok Poll today said that Yingluck received a dismal 4.98 points on average out of ten on her performance as premier over the past three months.

A Bangkok Post report said floodwaters from the north had arrived at Yingluck's residence in Bangkok's Bung Kum district.


First Published: Tuesday, November 08, 2011, 21:15

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