Some northern areas of Bangkok, Thailand first began to flood almost a month ago. In the last month, other northern areas of the city began to get hit with flood water too (including mine, which flooded last week) until, currently more than 25%, of Bangkok is now under flood waters, with more areas being added every day. For many in Thailand though, not only Thais but expats and foreign investors too, they worry about the rest of Bangkok flooding. Will the whole of Bangkok, including Suvarnabhumi Airport flood? Unfortunately, it does seem likely.
Massive amounts of flood water is still heading towards Bangkok from the flooded north of Thailand and one Thai expert, Dr. Seree Suparatid (the only Thai expert most people believe anymore), is saying the amount of flood water still coming is more than double the amount Bangkok has already received. Some of it is expected to reach Bangkok within a week. The rest of it will arrive here within the next two to three weeks. When it does hit, existing pumps the government is operating to pump water out of affected areas will be at over capacity and already water-logged areas of Bangkok will flood even more.
The Thai government this week also put into effect what they call the “Big Bag” project. Nothing more than a six kilometer line of massive sandbags placed in a certain area of the city, the “Big Bag” project was implemented to allow the government to pump water out of already flooded areas, while blocking more water from coming in.
The problem with this strategy is, while they’ve been relatively successful in pumping water out of some flooded areas (water is down by up to 10-20 centimeters in some places), it’s only a temporary measure. According to Dr. Seree Suparatid, the “Big Bag” project will also fail within the next seven days, as more water arrives in the north of Bangkok and floods over the top of the big sandbags, causing pumped-out areas to reflood and other areas to begin to flood.
The east of Bangkok, in areas like Lat Krabang, will also see increased flooding within the next week. They’ve already been under flood water for weeks but a large amount of water is expected to reach them within the next seven days. Canals will then begin to fill up and overflow and experts say this will cause more flooding and, to an extent, flooding even worse than they already have.
Authorities have also been trying to funnel flood water through canals on the eastern and western outskirts of Bangkok, and particularly away from the city’s main airport, Suvarnabhumi. Although they’ve dug huge trenches near the airport to stop flood water and continue to say Suvarnabhumi Airport will be saved, few now believe it. Too much water is heading in that direction and, it doesn’t matter how big the trenches you dig, flooding usually starts with water coming up from under the ground or through drainage systems and, once that happens, it’s impossible to stop. Some experts now admit Suvarnabhumi Airport could flood within the next week to 10 days.
Overall, although some flooded areas of northern Bangkok have begun to see water levels falling, (my area has gone down by 5 centimeters, to a flood level of ‘only’ 55 cenitmeters), few people in these areas expect it to last. With too much more water on its way, city pumps being over capacitated, canals filliing back up, and the “Big Bag” project failing, it’s only a matter of time before flood waters begin their slow, but very steady, flow down into inner Bangkok. Then the whole city will flood.