WTH is going on with the weather?
It’s finally October. The rain was supposed to calm down by now or at least ease up a little. Nope. That doesn’t seem to be happening this year and because of that the floods are messing up many of the northern provinces of Thailand. Floodwaters have been high enough to literally submerge whole cars. One hospital in Ayutthaya reported water levels of 2.2m. This is the worst flooding the country has witnessed in half a century. There are 3.8 million acres of farmland underwater; that’s enough surface area to cover Hong Kong 13 times over! Over 700 million homes have been destroyed, nearly 200 factories closed down and all other forms of water damage have been recorded. We’re looking at damage of over B20 billion from Ayutthaya province alone (source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/10/uk-thailand-floods-idUKTRE7991CU20111010 and http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Thailand-Evacuates-Hospital-as-Flooding-Threatens-Bangkok-131420703.html).
At least 269 people have been killed and over 2.4 million individuals in 30 different provinces have been effected (source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-07/thailand-floods-reach-crisis-level-threaten-bangkok-prime-minister-says.html).
This map from (www.thaiflood.com) indicates the areas that are suffering from natural disasters at the moment. Red zones indicate emergency areas, orange zones are troubled areas, yellow zones are effected, green equals recovering and blue equals warnings. So yeah, North Central Thailand is screwed.
There have been warnings of a potential flood in Bangkok. This video below was taken at the Pranang Khlao Bridge in Nonthaburi, a province at the northwest tip of Bangkok (yes, the guy in the video seriously has no f**ks to give to the situation).
Bangkok is not safe yet
The waters from the north will have to make its way to the sea somehow and standing between the floods and the gulf of Thailand is Bangkok. PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s cabinet has ordered an additional 1.5 million sacks of sand to create a makeshift barrier to hold the waters out. She also claims that we have two days to properly create a blockade in the Rangsit area with said sand sacks to ensure Bangkok’s safety and there is a possible risk that the waters will make its way here. (Read more about her statement in Thai here http://www.thairath.co.th/content/pol/208174). So yeah Bangkokers, stay safe and stay dry, according to the earlier sited Bloomberg article, Bangkok is most at risk between October 16 to 18 as sea levels rise thus increasing the probability of a city-wide flood.
Fishing and the floods
Not everything is bad. There’s a silver lining for us fisherman. Unsurprisingly all this flooding is changing fishing in many ways. Firstly, with the rivers overflowing many of the areas around town have become fishing spots.
One guy went lure fishing for jungle perch from the side of the highway in Khon Kaen.
Some people have been catching the Mekong giant catfish that have escaped from the reservoir at the most random places, like this guy who caught it from a random canal in Singburi:
And for snakehead fishermen like myself this means that there will be more fish to catch once the waters subside.
The floods are costing this country a crap load of money and those who most effected by the floods are the poor rice farmers of the north whose crops are completely ruined. Many people can’t go back to their homes and are stranded in military camps before they can return to their water-damaged homes. If you wish to donate money to help the flood victims you can do so here at any of these organisations through their bank accounts here: (http://www.thaiflood.com/share/donate_money.php).
Once again, thanks for reading. Stay safe and dry my friends.