Monsoonal flooding this October has led to serious mayhem throughout the country of Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand’s capitol and beating heart, is currently under threat of drowning in the overflow of the Chao Phraya River, which runs alongside the city (the photo of the teenage boys in this river was taken by me in June, 2011). Bangkok, a low-elevation city that is a bulls-eye for flood waters, may be saved from complete destruction, however, thanks to increased defensive flooding preparation. CNN reports that, “the water has already turned parking lots into marinas, markets into lakes and houses into homes suitable only for fish. It has gushed into houses of the holy–Buddhist temples stood amid rising water–and into sanctuaries of the vulnerable.”
Not only a challenge for the people of Thailand, the city’s elephant population is now in a position to potentially starve to death. As many as 15 elephants climbed to the top of Ayutthaya’s Royal Elephant Kraal building to escape the severe flooding, and are now trapped and hungry, surviving on small boats of food brought to them by rescue teams. Just this morning, Reuters announced that “the flooding has killed 297 people since late July and caused $3 billion in damage.” A third of the country is under water, but officials are confident that low-lying Bangkok will be spared after the strengthening of its system of defensive dikes and canals.
Only time will tell how much the final flood toll will cost the country; what is already certain is that the economy, people, and landscape of Thailand will suffer for months to come as they recover from this horrible natural disaster.
Photo Credits: Julia Guard; My Shot Your Shot, Roengrit Kongmuang & Eleni Kasotaki
–Julia from My Wonderful World