Thai Soup Oct26

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Melissa Dewberry

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With disastrous flooding, and now escaped crocs, Thailand has announced a five day vacation, rather a five day break, in the hopes of allowing people in Bangkok to escape the floods.

The Prime Minister warned that if retention barriers break, Bangkok could see nearly 5 feet of water pour into the city.

The time off is planned for October 27-31, 2011, and will take place in Bangkok and 20 of 76 currently flooded provinces. Thailand has stated that they will be keeping the financial markets open during this time.

The flooding marks the worst in 50 years; with “at least 366 people since mid-July and disrupted the lives of nearly 2.5 million, with more than 113,000 in shelters and 720,000 seeking medical attention.”

Read more at Reuters.

Update on October 25, 2011:

As if Bangkok didn’t have enough problems, they are now battling escaped crocodiles.

The soggy, water logged citizens, in a district outside of the city, already dealing with looters, loss of homes, property, and crops, are now facing the threat of becoming the lunch of rogue crocs.

The Bangkok Post indicated that the animals “are believed to have escaped from a nearby farm,” and so far two have been shot and six have been captured.

Read more at the Global Post.

Original Article October 24, 2011
Bangkok residents are wading through the streets of the Thai capital as it experiences the worst flooding to afflict the nation in half a century.

The country is also bracing for additional high tides in the coming week, according to Thailand’s Flood Relief Operations Command, which explained, “high tides cause rivers to back up, subsequently raising water levels.”

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said: “authorities are trying to drain water into the sea as quickly as possible, but the disaster has proven arduous.”

“I would like to apologize to the public because it has been difficult to make advance notice about the floods,” she said. “There are many factors beyond our expectation. Informing too early could cause panic and mistakes could happen easily, but people should be alert and closely follow up the situation.”

Over 113,000 people have sought refuge in the 1,700 temporary shelters have been set up nationwide.

“Since the flooding situation might persist for four to six weeks in many areas of the country, the Government has prepared several plans to improve the living conditions in various evacuation centers,” Thailand’s government public relations department said Sunday. “The plans include occupational training and lesson teaching aimed at generating employment for the affected people after flood water recedes.”

Currently the government is resorting to desperate measures to absolve the crisis, making the decision to open floodgates to relieve pressure on dams and levees and to send the water towards the sea.

In doing so, they have flooded many parts of the city and its surrounding suburbs such as Rangsit.

Overall, the losses from the flooding could exceed $2 billion and damage its thriving tourism industry for the foreseeable future.

Read more at CNN.