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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Southeast Asia Flood Warnings

Flooding is currently effecting central Thailand with some effects being felt in Cambodia and Vietnam, but much less so in the past week.  However, it is extremely important to learn about local conditions before traveling to or leaving any destination.

Our Southeast Asia News Twitter is updated around the clock, and we are reporting on the flood conditions several times a day as news become available.

Thailand Floods

All non-essential travel to Bangkok is strongly discouraged. 

Floods have become more widespread in many parts of Bangkok and residents in Don Muang, Sai Mai, Bang Phlad and Thawi Wattana districts have been urged to evacuate to safety immediately.  Residents along riverbanks and on the banks of Khlong Maha Sawat are urged to leave immediately.   A substantial volume of floodwater from Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani is flowing into the Chao Phraya River, which breached its banks, inundating riverside and canalside communities.  Chinatown, the royal Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, popular tourist attractions, are also experiencing flooding.

Northern Bangkok and areas north of Bangkok are experiencing flooding with many foreign Embassies evacuating employees living in the northern parts of the city.  Currently, Bangkok is under a flood advisory that has been extended with the areas around the Chao Phraya River sure to flood.  Bangkok residents living along Choa Praya River have been warned that the October 27-31 high tide would raise the river level to as high as 2.6 meters above mean sea level, which is higher than the city's concrete floodwall of 2.5 meters. It is, therefore, expected to see water overflowing banks along the Chao Praya River. 

Don Mueang has been breached. Nok Air and other airlines have been forced to suspend services from airport with some flights diverted to Suvarnabhumi.  Parts of Bangkok including Don Mueang, Sai Mai and Lak Si districts in the north and Bang Phlad district near the central have been flooded already.   Authorities have closed off areas around Khao San Road.  Sukhumvit Road remain above water, but already manyoutlying suburbs of Bangkok have been affected, including Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani.  Officials were working to shore up flood barriers along Khlong Rangsit in Pathum Thani,. Flooding has spread to West Bangok..  The Bangkok Post reports in Don Muang, water levels were reported at 30 to 40cm along Songprapa Road to the Pracha Uthit intersection. On Nawongpattana Road, running to Songprapa, floodwaters reached as high 50cm, impassible for most small cars.  On Phahon Yothin Road, near the National Memorial and Thupatemee Stadium, water reached 30cm.

Additionally, 20 provinces are experiencing severe flooding including: Sukhothai, Pichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singhburi, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Lopburi, Sara Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Pracheen Buri, Chacherngsao, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Kamphang Peth, and Tak.

An interactive map from Google is now available at at (below).  Also very helpful is Google's Crisis Response page which lists emergency contact information for Bangkok and local authorities, emergency services, Embassies, and other organizations in English which can be found at


As of October 7, according to Thai government sources including the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, portions of 54 highways are closed.  This includes the Asia Highway, the main highway north out of Bangkok. Bus and train service linking Bangkok with points to the north is suspended. Bus routes between Bangkok and northeast Thailand are operating. Trains are running between Bangkok and northeast Thailand. However they have been rerouted to an eastern line and are not serving smaller stations in and near Bangkok. We advise you to monitor local media and our Twitter updates, confirm travel arrangements, and defer travel to or through flood impacted areas.  More than 20 embassies have warned to avoid all unessential travel to Thailand.

Vietnam Floods

More than 55 people are now reported dead due to Vietnam flooding.  The National Hydro-Meteorological Forecast Centre (HFC) said water in the upper Mekong River, Dong Thap Muoi region, and Long Xuyen quadrangle would ebb slowly over the next five days, but remain high at Grade 3 warning level until early November. We highly advise tourists and others to reconsider travel to the Mekong Delta area until water levels significantly recede to decrease the chance of impact by flash floods.  The Vietnamese Meteorological Service has reported above-flood level conditions at all of its southern monitoring stations today as as water continues to drain from Thailand and Cambodia, conditions and water levels are not expected to immediately recede.

Video of Previous Flooding

How to Stay Safe

  • Always check travel conditions before moving to another destination.
  • Ensure you have local emergency contact information or your Embassy's contact information with in case of emergency.
  • Monitor news, radio, and our Twitter account for updated information about areas that may become impacted by flooding.
  • Do not attempt to cross flooded areas with fast-moving water on foot or by vehicle.  Hundreds have died in Southeast Asia this month because of trying to do precisely that.
  • Be extremely cautious about possible downed power lines or touching water that may be exposed to submerged electrical lines or devices Electrocution is a major risk in flooded areas.
  • Do not drink water from flooded areas and be very cautious about consuming food.  In these conditions even dishes washed in tainted waters can trigger illness.  Do not use water that could be
    contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.


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