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What Will Happen in Bangkok Floods if Worst-Case Scenario Occurs?

Sandbags in Bangkok waiting for the flood - copyright mikiane, Creative Commons


As Bangkok continues to swirl with rumor and panic and water continues to arrive near the city from the north, a Thai water expert, Dr Seri Suprathit, has given more details if the worst-case scenario happens and Bangkok is completely flooded.  And honestly, for most of us, it’s not as bad as you’d expect.

Dr. Seri says, of course, there will be areas, the low-lying ones, where the water will be chest deep. But, in most areas of Bangkok, and particularly in the north of the city currently under threat of being the next to flood badly (Sai Mai, Laksi, Don Mueang, Chatuchak, Bang Khen) water will get to 30-50 centimetres or a foot to 1 foot 8 inches.  He says, in these areas, residents should stay put, there’s no need to evacuate, as you can still move about, go shopping, catch public transportation etc. And yes, he’s correct. I’ve done it. Many times.

In Bangkok, during the rainy season, several times a year roads will temporarily flood up to one foot or more. That means, if you venture into the flood water, you’ll end up wading through it up to mid-calf or knee-level, depending on your height. Of course, it’s not ideal, but anyone who’s lived in Thailand any length of time has already done it and survived.

The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) also just released a statement saying they only turn electricity off in extreme flooding cases – usually at 2 meters (over 6 feet), as that’s where the power meter is. But…..if you do get flooded, don’t turn off power switches with bare hands. Cover them with dry cloths.

Overall then, worst-case scenario? Not too bad. Particularly as, if you are flooded, there will always be other areas of Bangkok you can get to that aren’t affected as badly.

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