Merge Into One: Photos from the Thai Floods of 2011

Merge Into One: Photos from the Thai Floods of 2011

Merge Into One: Photos from the Thai Floods of 2011 Blog, History, ITS Image Factory, Photography, Regions, Southeast Asia, Thailand
November 15, 2018

In August 2011 the floods appeared aggressive, somewhat north of Thailand. Then it, like a raging beast, surge forth, southward – a destructive force of nature, that claimed land, farms, villages, towns and cities. Lives were lost and displaced. The flood ravaged communities, unwilling to stop.

During such times, mankind lost the battles waged by nature. Yet Thai societies endured, subscribing to basic tactics – with collective endurance and sheer force of will, the people survived.

I flew to Bangkok in November 2011 to help with the relief efforts.


Relief Work

The photographs and video were taken with my trusted, sturdy BlackBerry 9780.

With my Thai colleagues, both rangers. We travelled long and far on a boat filled with supplies for communities living near flooded canals and rivers on the outskirts of Bangkok.


A man calls out for help as he stands out on the lower roof of his house. Like many, his home was inundated by floods from bloated canals and rivers.


Volunteers gather in small groups, particularly from their neighbourhoods and districts, to help pack food and drinks.


The then prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra turned the Government House into an evacuation centre – sheltering affected communities. Women, who lost their homes and livelihood, set-up a sewing group to help each other.


We met another team on their humanitarian mission. The relief workers had a boat filled with local food, mainly rice, noodles, pork and fish. We spoke briefly, reorganised and agreed to streamline our tasks so as to cover a wider area.


A soup kitchen run by volunteers. Food was served regularly to families and aid workers. In many parts of Thailand, there was food shortages, among other valuable supplies, that affected both rural and urban communities – especially the poor and marginalised.


Clean drinking water, a human right, donated by the public, donor agencies, politicians and the government of the day.


Services, such as haircuts, are free and managed by volunteers at evacuation centres. The volunteers are folks who have lost their livelihood, land and homes to the raging floods.


Many shops, convenience stores and markets were forced to close or relocate as flash floods struck. Food stuffs were hard to find. As such, civil society and businesses collectively helped to provide rice and noodles.


Art by AK Rockefeller.


One evening, we ended that day, with a meal. My colleagues and I were wet and tired, so we found dry land in a slum and grilled a freshwater fish, that we caught that night. It was a memorable dinner, on the road.


Sleeping quarters in the Government Complex for evacuees and relief workers. Thanks to the intervention and support of the government.


On a good night, some folks take the opportunity to use the public transport. On a bad night, some use boats to travel on flooded roads.


My colleague delivers bottles of drinking water to families trapped in their homes. Many residents had very little time and often no resources to evacuate their homes.


Art by AK Rockefeller.



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