Thursday was the first of five government-declared holidays in Thailand, but it was not a day of fun. Floodwaters crept slowly but surely into Bangkok, stressing embankments and making roads, parking lots, factories and markets more suitable for fish than people.
Bangkok residents used the holiday to stream out of the capital, seeking higher ground or temporary shelters. Many saw floodwater enter their homes uninvited, their belongings soaked beyond salvage.
Most of Bangkok was expected to be flooded Thursday, with up to 1 meter (3.2 feet) of water in some areas, said Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, as the Chao Phraya River threatened to spill over holding walls and into the city of almost 10 million people.
Several districts were under a mandatory evacuation order.
Yingluck conceded Bangkok is entering a critical stage, the MCOT news agency reported. She said it was impossible to divert the floodwater and that it would certainly flow through every part of the metropolitan area.
"There is water from underground coming up," said Pracha Promnok, chief of the Flood Relief Operations Center. "We are unable to do anything (to stop it)."FULL STORY