Human lives. Lost. In the currents of Thailand’s worse floods.
As the floods tore through the rural areas from the north, destructive forces violated the terrain, causing unprecedented damage to the natural environment.
Current reports states that the flooding has caused over 400 deaths and affected some 2 million people in 26 of Thailand’s 77 provinces. About 17,000 kilometres of farmland have been submerged, over 13.2 million animals killed, and 1,000 factories inundated.
Economic losses are estimated at over US$3 billion.
The flood’s next target is Bangkok and its 12-million population. It seeks to swamp the metropolis completely.
Like other cities built on river floodplains, creates bottlenecks to natural drainage, its paved surfaces and narrow streets concentrating the effects of flooding by channelling water and preventing it from draining into the ground. As for the rural areas, many people have been living in partially submerged homes, their lands lost, and hopes turning into an unavoidable depression.
Managing water in this context is a complex and challenging task – some Thais have said it is impossible.
As relief workers focus on the immediate humanitarian impact of the floods, politicians venomously point fingers at each other, the blame game has started. This campaign serves no purpose, and the delays increases the dangers of people living in the city.
Rumours and gossip runs amok, and people fear the worse. For the past few weeks, armed and angry residents have disabled some dykes as they sought to release the water to dry land. It’s incredible and tense.