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Pattaya Daily News

01 November 2011 :: 13:11:02 pm 59602

Don Muang Airport pictures show extent of Thai crisis

In the event of a water landing… flooded airport pictures show extent of Thai crisis which is worst in over half a century
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As emergency services in Thailand battle against the country’s worst flooding in half a century, parts of the nation’s infrastructure remained literally at a standstill.

Advancing floodwater in Bangkok saw commercial flights at Don Mueang Airport shut down, as the wheels of decommissioned jetliners on the flood-hit runways were left completely submerged.
The floods in Thailand have so far claimed 381 lives, while the country’s government is considering a recovery plan which could cost $30billion.

The flooding at Don Muang Airport, which is mainly used for domestic flights, is one of the biggest blows yet to government efforts to prevent Bangkok from becoming submerged.

The airport also houses the government’s emergency Flood Relief Operations Centre, and one of its terminals has been converted into an overcrowded shelter filled with tents for 4,000 people forced to leave their homes.

Thai Orient Airlines and Nok Air, the two main carriers at Don Mueand Airport, suspended operations and diverted flights to Suvarnabhumi Airport because of the flood threat.

The airport’s director, Mr Kantpat Mangalasiri, said its commercial runways would be closed until Tuesday to ensure safe aircraft operations.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told residents of Bangkok to be ‘confident’ as she headed into a government crisis meeting, saying there may be overflow into some areas but that it would not cause any great damage.

‘We will recover soon,’ she said.

Floodwaters have submerged entire towns across the country’s heartland and shuttered hundreds of factories over the last two months.

In the past week, the waters have reached into outer neighborhoods of the capital, while its central districts of skyscrapers, apartment towers and glitzy malls have remained dry.

This weekend’s high tides were described as the greatest test of the capital’s flood defenses, and many wary business owners hastily built temporary cement-and-brick walls around their entrances.

While downtown Bangkok was bone-dry, areas along the city’s outskirts saw flooding spread.

Seven of Bangkok’s 50 districts – all in the northern and western outskirts – are heavily inundated.

Eight other districts have seen less serious flooding.

Thousands of Bangkok residents used a special five-day holiday to leave town, with some wary of confusing warnings regarding the flood threat and others concerned about sparse supplies in stores due to weeks of panic buying and flood-related distribution problems.

In the past few days the situation at Don Mueang Airport is said to have become chaotic.

Aswell as housing stranded passengers, more travellers have turned up without knowing their flights were cancelled.

Last week, the government declared public holidays from last Thursday until today in affected areas of Thailand.

The Education Ministry also ordered schools in 12 affected provinces and the capital to close until Nov 7.

Report by : Daily Mail

Category : Thailand News

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