Flooding in Bangkok

Once again unprecedented flooding is affecting another part of the world. The Prime Minister of Thailand, Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, has warned that the capital city, Bangkok, could be soon covered with water one and a half deep. October is at the very end of the rainy season in Bangkok, which has a tropical wet and dry climate. The City is home to more than nine million people and while most of it is dry at present parts of the surrounding countryside have been under two or three metres of water for three months.

The Thais are used to living around water, and use the resources of the waterways and river systems in the land.  The Choa Phraya river has never been higher and if the expected flooding comes looking after nine million souls will be, in modern euphemism, a challenge. There are good river defences but these only protect to a height of 2.5 metres and the river is expected to rise ten or more centimetres above the flood defences.

One of the biggest problems with flooding is that it renders the local drinking water supplies unsafe and undrinkable. “Water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. Food is being rationed.

Of course the flooding and droughts which I have been reporting in the past few years as beyond things previously experienced, may just be a coincidence, especially when they occur in tropical and semi tropical areas. The climate change scientists have consistently predicted that one of the effects of anthropogenic climate change (and they have modified their predictions recently) is not necessarily more violent storms and tempests but more prolonged storms and tempests. This seems to be what people are experiencing.

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